Do I learn leadership from my father?

Father’s Day has become an opportunity for consumer companies and retailers to boost their sales. Why doesn’t one consider this occasion as an opportunity to reflect upon the learnings from one’s father?

Each one of us learns immensely from our environments in which we grow up. Naturally, the parents or the person who plays an equivalent role has a big impact on our lives. It is not rare to find a leader struggle listening to the team, feel disappointed with the behaviours of the men and women they lead, react emotionally, be in a spot making choices among the people led by him. All these behaviours are a result of the fact that we forget some of our early learnings as we navigate the turns along the path that we take in our lives.

Firstly, it is the sensitivity towards others that we learn at our home. Only if each of us held this dear, our world would have been a much better place to live in. Our leader at home dealt with several challenges each day and responded to each of them. If we notice carefully, our leader at home did not react, rather responded with an action which was mostly a solution to the problem. He demonstrated to us how to be patient and take a balanced view when siblings quarreled, our neighbour did something that hurt us, our friends and relatives seemed not to care, one of us failed him and we threw our tantrums. A home shows us how to feel for the others and be proactive in finding a solution. Imagine a leader who feels for his team and takes actions to create a winning formula for the team just like our father did it for us!

Secondly, father dreams of a future for his children, motivates them to achieve it, supports along the way, nudges and stretches the limits, picks them up when they fall down and gives unconditional love and affection even if the children fail to make the mark. That’s sacrifice, unconditional love and the real courage, isn’t it? How many leaders have a vision for each of their people? Let’s think how it will be if our leader motivated us to take the challenge, pushed us to win, helped us win and valued us in spite of failures to win! How will it be if our leader held our hands along the journey and praised us for the work we did and kept pushing us to excel each time we went to the battle arena? Isn’t this what we learn from the leader at home?

Last but not the least, let us recall how did our father behave when we violated a cardinal rule. His response normally is reactive and at the end of it, forgiving. He held our hand to understand what these principles are and why they are very important to lead one’s life. Does our leader at work spend the time and make the special effort to understand the rules of the game and encourage us to play by the rule? That’s character building by our father. Let’s grow up as leaders and learn to build the character amongst the people that we lead!

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