Test of a Great Leader – How you Lead your Family

By |Published On: April 16, 2012|

I work everyday to be a leader in my business. I develop a vision; get buy in for that vision from my team; give direction and measurable outcomes or expectations to my team members; I gather data from team members regarding how they’re doing in accomplishing their assigned outcomes and try to help them make adjustments as necessary.

Seems kind of simple. My team works well together and seem to buy in to the overall plan.

It’s not that easy when leading my team at home.

I have a vision for my family but it’s not been clearly articulated to my family members and as a result they certainly haven’t bought into it.

My family members don’t work for me. (In fact most of the time they think I work for them) As a result they may not have the same incentives to buy in that my teammates at work have.

We establish expectations and measurable outcomes with my family but they don’t have the same incentives to accomplish those outcomes as my teammates at work.

So how does one lead a family successfully? What are the leadership qualities I have developed at work that can transfer to my family?

I have given this much thought. I need to give it much more. However, I have come to a few conclusions – let me know what you think of them:

1. Develop a vision for your family and share it with all family members. Just like you do in your company, develop a mission statement and have it posted in your home somewhere all can see it and be reminded of it.
2. Develop core values for your family. Develop them together. Share them with each other. Post them in your house where all can see and be reminded of them. Hold each other accountable to these values.
3. Lead with love. Love is powerful. But love means more than just care deeply for someone or something. To truly love, you must sacrifice and serve. We do this in our businesses and it becomes obvious to our teammates. It helps them buy in to our vision when they see us sacrifice things for the greater good of the company or serve our customers or even our employees.  For example, we might host a lunch for our employees and serve it to them; we might reduce our income rather than lay off an employee during challenging economic times.

We have to sacrifice and serve at home in order to be effective leaders as well.  This will demonstrate the love we have for them.

Through the shared vision and values and the demonstration of love, we will be great leaders at home – as we already are at work.

What do you think? What do you do at home to demonstrate your leadership?

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