"I want to be a manager when I grow up" are the words that came out of my daughter's mouth a few weeks ago. She was preparing to deliver a speech to her class around why they should vote for her for mayor of Young Ameritowne. As mayor, you oversee the town's businesses, judicial system, laws, and all members of the town. One of her main reasons for wanting to be mayor was that she would be able to manage and lead the town and when I asked her why she wanted to manage and lead, she had an interesting answer.
As part of our normal routine my daughter and I share how our days went and we talk about some of the highs and lows. I share with her how things are going at work, what challenges we are dealing with along with the successes we celebrate. Whenever I have a big presentation to give, part of my preparation is presenting and receiving feedback from her. I also talk to her about the team I lead, how I work with people, help people, and am ultimately responsible for those people; their performance, development, and overall wellbeing.
In preparing for her speech, she asked for my help and we worked on what she wanted to say. Some of the same things I talked about with her during our daily catch-ups are the same reasons she wanted to be mayor; getting to work with a bunch of different people, helping them, and being responsible for them and their wellbeing. She also felt her organization and math skills would also be beneficial as mayor and felt she could take the town to the next level. All of these items came directly from my daughter as I asked her why she would be a good mayor. It was amazing to me just how many things she has picked up over the course of our conversations, most of which I thought were just small talk.
Fast forward a few weeks and my daughter did not get elected as mayor. However, she was able to become the bank president, which also manages people and requires math skills. She then found out just how hard it is to be a manager. While she was on break, she noticed that the line to the bank was becoming very long. The reason, a few of her employees had taken a longer lunch break than expected leaving the bank shorthanded. Like any good manager she resolved the situation by helping the customers in line and apologizing for their long wait. She also admitted she should have paid more attention during the employees onboarding earlier in the day as she would have known how to do their jobs better, however she figured it out and the mini crisis was resolved.
As a parent and a leader, you are always being watched and evaluated and people, whether they are your children or your employees, are constantly learning how to act and behave based on the values you exhibit. We are all products of the environments we create and we can choose to actively create safe, thriving, empowering environments by the small actions we take on a daily basis.
I don't know ultimately what profession my daughter will choose when she grows up, however I hope that she is surrounded by people that support and challenge her and provide an environment where she can grow and thrive. At the end of the day, isn't that what we all want for ourselves and those around us?