I was preparing to send out an end of year Notes on Leadership post with two tips for how to hit the ground running in 2013. Then the tragic events in an elementary school in Newtown, CT occurred. Now it does not feel right to post a note with a positive, upbeat tone. It seems much more appropriate to speak in hushed tones, and to connect with the broad range of painful and very sad emotions that so many of us are feeling.
So in this NoL, let’s focus on the most important leadership role that many of us have; our role as parents.
As parents, we are leaders. While we bring to this leadership role a much larger emphasis on love and affection than we bring to our leadership roles in the workplace, many of the same methods and tools apply.
As parents, we can benefit from the six core processes of the Simple Leadership Life CycleTM. We need to constantly Clarify our Strategic Intent, so that we have our and our children’s best interests at heart. (In fact, it was in dealing with my problem with how I was supporting one of my teens, that I developed this first step of the SLLC.)
For example, one likely strategic intent for parents this weekend is to deepen and re-affirm our loving, unconditional acceptance of and with our kids, and putting aside problems, annoyances and disagreements. Most of us will be blessed to have another day for those. Right now, let’s focus on addressing the trauma that many of our kids, from little ones to adults, are likely experiencing as they are exposed to the unfolding facts of this horrific event.
We need to Prioritize where we focus our energy and time, to fully reflect our Strategic Intent. Let’s turn off our smart phones and tablets for a while, and just be with our kids, spouses and other loved ones. Let’s cherish what is truly precious in our lives. As we learned yesterday, each day we have with them is a gift, and it cannot be taken for granted.
We need to Delegate unrelated tasks to others, and may need to delegate even related tasks to others with greater skill or experience than we have. Many of our kids, and even our friends and colleagues, are dealing with trauma today, and will soon need to deal with grief as well. Let’s each do our best to support them in these efforts, and let’s also seek out other resources to help where possible.
Here are three such resources from an article in USA Today:
- The National Association of School Psychologists
- A guide for parents rom the Institute for Trauma and Stress at The NYU Child Study Center
- The American School Counselors Association
One final thought I’d like to share in closing… Perhaps our greatest asset as leaders is our ability to listen to others, and reflect what they are feeling and thinking. Perhaps the greatest gift we give to others is to listen to them unconditionally. I invite you to make these next several days into special days of listening to everyone in our lives. We could all use that gift right now.
With warm regards,