"Frank's skill in asking the right questions is un-mistakable, and is at the core of his leadership philosophy.

The power of these questions cannot be underestimated, especially if you want to lead and not manage."
—John Cave
Westhaven Worldwide Logistics

If not otherwise stated—all postings © Frank D. Kanu. All rights reserved.


Parental Management

An acquaintance is a father of a young family.

He’s also a former middle-ranking executive in a medium sized firm.

I asked him, casually, whether he saw any parallels between his management and parental experience.

He said all the obvious stuff. You have to budget. You have to have the right resources. Processes and routines are required. Safety and security are of prime importance. Your ‘charges’ need direction. You have a duty of care. You have to deal with issues like sick absence and discipline.

As he said the word discipline he fell a bit quiet, clearly mulling over the ‘d’ word. “You know, Frank,” he said, “as I look after, play with and manage my children I am often reminded of my period in management. The ways in which people used to behave towards each other; the pettiness; the occasional insolence; the tantrums and meltdowns. I was managing these sorts of issues then… and I am managing them now.”

We laughed at the comparison he was making. But as I reflected on our discussion afterwards, I wondered at the childishness grown adults can display… particularly in the workplace. And no wonder phrases like ‘throwing all his/her toys out of the pram’ get used so much in corporate life.

I could get depressed about it…

… or I could encourage leaders to create cultures where it does not happen.


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