I got absolutely terrific news yesterday. My daughter who is the nurse back in Pittsburgh just got her semester grades for her first year in her Masters program. She received a perfect 4.0! She is now working full-time, going to school at night, and living 2400 miles away from home. Our other daughter, the sports management guru, is working two jobs and has an internship. She recently led the country in one-day sales for the retailer she works for; just started a job at the university in a research position; and is active as an intern for the Pittsburgh Marathon. And, oh yeah, she is doing very well in school.

There are two reasons for this blog post today. The first is to brag about my kids. It’s my blog, so I guess I can do that, right?

The second is to give you pause to think…

Certainly, our daughter’s accomplishments are theirs and theirs alone. They have worked hard, been committed, sacrificed, and made hard changes in their lives. They’ve done all of this by living a long way from family and friends. That being said, I would like to think they picked up some of their work ethic, morals, and behaviors from what their mother and I have tried to drill in them growing up. The hardest and most rewarding job I’ve ever had is raising kids. For those of you who do it, or have done it, you know. In addition to all the joy, there is a certain amount of leadership and role modeling that must be done.

In your business, there is much the same dynamics. I have spoken to many a business owner who compares themselves to a parent. Leadership, role modeling, and “parenting” are a large part of running any organization. The question to ask yourself is, “Are my employees better because of me, despite me, or not at all.” If you are the leader of any part of your business – owner, manager, supervisor – you are mentoring at some level. Your mission is to make the person you are mentoring better. How will you know?

  1. They will tell you. This doesn’t always happen in parenting, but it often happens in business.
  2. They will show you. You will have empirical evidence that there work and/or behavior has improved.
  3. Others will tell you. Fellow members of your team will tell you they’ve noticed improvement or growth.

Just like a tremendous point guard makes the players around his basketball team better, you have that ability to. Take advantage of the opportunity to improve the lives and condition of others.

© 2011 Dan Weedin. All Rights Reserved



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