So what do you think?

Many experts would have you believe that work and family are separate worlds, governed by separate rules, which require separate training. Don’t get me started on all of the projects I have been pitched by “Big C” consulting companies on how to better run my company. The really good consultants demonstrated that I could build upon the truths that I had learned in different life contexts. That’s really important in getting a company’s leadership team to buy into and adopt management systems that elevate a company’s performance – they already know many of the essential truths that enable performance. Managers face many of the same issues every day – as parents.

“There is nothing new under the sun” – you can look that up in the Book of Ecclesiastes.

Start with the two most important elements in laying the foundation for a high performance company – vision and values. Companies that drive forward are driving forward towards something. The vision of the company in the future serves as a magnet that pulls a company forward at the same time that current opportunities and threats impel it to move ahead. The company vision is the ideal “end” point which is never attained because it is periodically redefined as a new vision of the future. It is a constant source of energy that feeds the company’s entrepreneurial drive.

Striving for the ideal end state, the vision, must be balanced by the rules that govern how the company will achieve that end – those are the company values. When vision and values are in sync, a company avoids wasting energy on the distractions that result when employees are treated in an inconsistent, disrespectful manner. Employee confidence in management increases because trust increases. You can think of vision and values as “energy engines” in a company’s life.

Are people, in particular kids, any different? Of course not. From the time we can speak we answer the question, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” Individuals who have that vision of themselves, and have the principles through which to achieve it, will succeed. The role of parents begins with giving children the confidence to build a vision for themselves and the human values that enable them to live and work in harmony with others. Parents and managers, parents who are also managers, face the same challenge, and can draw from experience in both domains to succeed in their roles.

Apply the learning lessons across life. Don’t put experiences in little boxes just because The Consultant tries to tell you so.

Tomorrow: Part II – Ground Level Parenting and Managing