How My Kid Teaches Me About Leadership

Listen, I won’t lie and say that parenting is easy.

A lot of the things that are worth it haven’t been easy. There are days when I’m a frazzled, tired mess just trying to figure out how to get the stroller on the subway and maneuver my way to the next coffee machine.

But there’s also a surprising amount that I’ve learned about leadership from becoming a parent. Last Fall, I pitched the editors at Inc to write a new series about the intersection of leadership and parenting, and I’m excited to share I’ve got a new column over on Inc.com all about personal and professional growth, and how my kids teach me more than I expected about leadership and business.

The learning curve of building a new human from scratch and re-wiring yourself as a parent and a functioning adult comes with plenty of challenges. All-nighters, toddler sick days, teaching empathy and learning to juggle household demands with workplace deadlines can feel insurmountable. Yet it also feels strangely familiar: like the long days of marathon training, or like the late nights studying to get your MBA on the side of your full-time gig.

I’ve interviewed hundreds of entrepreneurial parents and there’s one consistent theme I keep hearing: how much the jump off the deep dive into parenting readied them for business challenges in a way they didn’t first expect. In fact, of the many skills they gain are completely in line with what entrepreneurship asks of us.

Here are five ways becoming a parent changed how I grew my business–for the better.

Also, if you enjoy that article on Inc, I’ve also got a column over on Forbes all about parenting and leadership. In my latest article, I write about how one entrepreneurial mom built a business out of her need to keep her four kiddos entertained, and how the business took off unexpectedly. Check out Shelby Rideout’s new company, Bright Signs Learning, and her tools that help her educate her kids:

How this mom of four created a business by trying to entertain her kiddos.

If you enjoyed it, I’ve also got articles on starting your own mastermind, the challenges of staying connected when you work from home, and how my interviews with entrepreneurial parents reveals how they are pioneering a new work revolution that’s changing what work looks like for a lot of people.


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