What Kind of Mailroom Kid are You?
This morning I’m packing up after a great weekend conference in Boise. It was an industry conference for bloggers that included inspiring keynote speeches and amazingly valuable workshops.
I was struck by the theme that I walked away from in this conference. Every speaker talked about different topics; everything from distinguishing your value, finding your niche, trusting the process, tools and techniques for getting your goals.
The underlying theme for me was leadership, owning your own role in the journey of your business. Almost all of these entrepreneurs were working for themselves and many had multiple employees underneath them.
This discussion of leadership for these entrepreneur/creators is parallel to fatherhood. My experience of fatherhood it is is that it is the most wonderfully excruciating Boot Camp for personal leadership that I’ve ever experienced. Just like entrepreneurship.
There’s no hiding to be AN involved and committed father, there’s no hiding from your unresolved issues. To be transparent, vulnerable, and really be there for your kids especially when they’re struggling, you will have to be strong in ways that you may never have needed to be before. Strong and gentle, strong and caring, strong and vulnerable, strong and consistent, strong in “service above self.”
Think of it like taking an entry-level wrong job and a big corporation in the mail room. If you see this job as a leadership path, you’ll be looking to learn grow and share places where you don’t know things so you can learn them and become better at your job and more valuable to the people around you. If you see it like a dead end job, something that goes on during your life between social engagements and the rest of your life, You might see the job differently. If you’re this second kid, you’re likely going to complain about the boss, in the job. You may even say things like “I can blow that off, they’re not expecting that much for me anyways” or “I don’t really have to do that, or if I’m not there nobody will notice” or even worse “they can’t make me and I don’t have to”.
If you’re this second kid, it’s like we are not moving out of the mail room, and just as likely that you will lose your job in short order. The impact maybe negligible but it’s likely the way you’re gonna walk through life and him act the way you do everything. But the impact of not coming fully into your leadership as a father Will have a profound impact on your family and kids.
If you ever run into aging parents, people who are involved and invested in their kids when they were growing up, there’s this patina of wisdom and peace about them. This is no accident, they didn’t just survive the time raising their kids they thrived in it. And it is because they embraced parenthood as a leadership path. Personal leadership, leadership of others.
Welcome to your path of leadership, it’s extraordinary to have you here.