3 lessons from fatherhood I apply to leadership

My family, especially my children, are the most important things in my life. They’ve taught me countless lessons – undoubtedly more than I’ve taught them. With Father’s Day right around the corner, I thought I would take time to share the lessons I’ve learned from fatherhood and how I apply them to business:

Embrace change.

There’s always a delicate balance between the status quo and change. My daughter recently made a big decision to move from Seattle to New York for a unique internship.  I encouraged her to embrace the opportunity and enjoy it.  A good parent and business leader balances them and can make sound decisions when faced with change. If you’re lucky enough to foresee the change, initiate and control it. Your children and colleagues are more likely to respect and trust you when you establish a track record of effective decision making.

Learn from your mistakes.

As I say often, fail and fail fast. Perfection is overrated. It’s okay to make a mistake as long as you learn from it. I certainly made plenty of mistakes raising my kids, but I always did my best to admit and own up to it.  The same thing applies to business. We have to make mistakes in order to improve the next round.

People need to feel comfortable taking a different route sometimes. If we aren’t making mistakes, we aren’t reaching outside of our comfort zones, and that is the biggest mistake of all.  If your children or colleagues are afraid of the consequences of failure, they’ll likely avoid trying anything new. What parent or leader wants that?

Celebrate small victories.

With everything moving so fast (in parenthood and at the office), it can be easy to gloss over small victories. Instead, make a conscious effort to celebrate those.  My son recently received a small promotion at work.  It wasn’t much but it was encouraging that he was on the right track.  So we celebrated!  Whether it’s things like this or your team reaching a monthly goal, stay mindful so that you can notice and celebrate all victories along the way.

As fathers and business leaders, we have a responsibility to create a nurturing and healthy environment for our children and our colleagues. To all the fathers and father figures out there doing just that, Happy Father’s Day!   I know I’m looking forward to celebrating this Sunday with my own family.

I would love for to hear the lessons you’ve learned throughout the years and how you apply them to business. Sound off in the comments below.

HP CTO & Global Head HPLabs. Technology futurist, passionate leader focused on 3dprinting, cybersecurity, drones, travel, and FriendsNational.

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