One afternoon when I was working at office, my wife made a phone call from home, “Dad, Adek is out of control now and I can’t manage him to get along. So I had to prod a little hard poke on his ear. He’s crying now calling your name. When you’re home and he grumbles and complains please back me up..”
It means my wife wanted both of us to have one word. It’s not in the right way when one parent comes up as ‘the antagonist’ and the other one as “the savior God”. We must be a solid team.
So, what should I do then?
The meshing of leadership and parenthood
For office workers, it’s normal for me and my other colleagues to be organizationally shaped up with leadership skills. For those who manage their subordinates, leadership takes part in developing people management. While for those who don’t yet, they will find leadership remarkable for self management in order to work in compliance with the company’s policies and standard operating procedures.
On the other hand, as a parent (daddy, in particular) I intrinsically carry a mandate as the head of the family. This means leadership skill is something inherent and compulsory to take inside with me. The problem is there’s never been a formal education to be a leader in a family, unlike the leadership in an organization which can be delivered by way of formal and specific programs.
Well, anyway, here we go to find a smart solution. We will have to realize that we can apply the leadership knowledge into two different genres: work and family. Dr. Judy Yaron has identified eight pillars of leadership that can be applied to family leadership as parents:
Emotional Intelligence. A capability to identify self-emotion and other persons and to manage emotion well.
Thinking Skills. Comprising a capability to solve problems analytically, out of the box thinking, creativity, and imagination.
Social Skills. To pay respect in interpersonal interaction without losing self-esteem.
Communication Skills. A capability to present and communicate opinions and listen to others’. At this circumstance it is important to change the communicating role from one in front of the public to another on the dinner table at home.
Financial Intelligence. It’ all about money. How we deal with money in positive ways and make it work for us.
Planning and Taking Action. How to change ideas into actions through systematical planning, carry stage-by-stage execution, handle obstacles, reflection, assessment, and accountability.
Character Development. Comprising self elaboration breaking down to building self-confidence and instilling moral values.
Teamwork. We don’t live alone in this world. Even though we could manage to grasp many things by our own, it would be so much greater to collaborate as a team to achieve better results. Family is the first team to which children recognize, and will last much longer.
As I arrived at home, my boy rumbled all the way and told me the story he’s been through with his mom. As he was done with it, I reached the six-year-old kid’s arm to get closer to me. I got down on my knees so I had my eyes on even position with his. While looking at his eyes, I put a light touch on his shoulders gently.
“I’m sure Mom didn’t mean to get rude with a nudge on your ear. I hope for next times you’re okay to get along with Dad and Mom. Well, you kiss and hug your Mom now…”
Was that a perfect answer of mine? I don’t know. All I thought was I just did my best to give him a proper answer. A wise answer from a dad. Hope it nudged a bit on those eight pillars of leadership above.
And I keep learning to be a leader for my family…
For Bahasa Indonesia version, click here.
Adek = Younger child (in this case a boy)