Monday, August 30, 2010

Could business and leadership be just like parenting ?

Strange title maybe but there are definitely some things in common between the two.
I hope to some day be considered a leader and I know that at that point I will have to be more or less like a parent to my team. No I don't mean nagging and pleading like a mom, even though I am sure there will be days where it will feel that way. No what I mean is learning to let go.
In fact you always hear that you have to give your children wings and teach them how to fly and then learn to let them go. Of course, this is what a leader has to do too.
The sad thing about this is that when your team members try to fly away, you want them to succeed but you know you will be missing them like crazy. It's the dilemma of being happy for their success but selfishly wishing they could stay put a little longer.
In some cases, the business world makes you feel that way about the ones who are in charge too. They were your teachers and they took you under their wings and helped you grow. They may have been the ones fighting for you or defending you when things were rough. They may have been the ones who disciplined you or chided you when it was needed. But overall they were the one who made a difference in your job, made it easier or better or more fulfilling.
I have had to say goodbye to someone who worked with me before because he was moving on to more satisfying pursuits. And I was thrilled for him. But he stayed close.
Now I have to say goodbye to someone who meant a lot in the last few months for being there and helping me grow. And I am thrilled that he is getting to grow and I am excited that someday he will be a big kahuna, the one in charge. But dang it, I selfishly am hating that he will no longer be in my store. I know we will run across each other at times, this is after all a small business world. And yes his leaving gives me an opportunity to go after his job...yep that's the bright side because sadly I always feel I have to try and find one. It sure doesn't mean I will get his job but I will try to.
Maybe in the next few weeks there will be someone else to guide me. And maybe not. For now, I only know that I am going into the unknown and that is scary.
So I can only hope I can learn to let go of the ones who matter and learn from them so some day I can be in a position to give others wings and teach them how to fly until they leave me. And maybe some day I will be more happy than sad when that happens.

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