Corporate Parenting

There’s an interesting dynamic in every organization across the globe: Corporate Parenting. And while few business graduate programs study this aspect of management and leadership, at LEADon we contend that those who guide your company ought to operate as parents to your Corporate Family.

In our book, Corporate Family Matters, we break down the roles and responsibilities of your organizational family in more detail, but our basic premise is that leaders who embrace the role of parenting the “siblings” will experience more success, including increased productivity and profitability.

One of the primary gateways to such success is expecting great things from your Corporate Family members. In other words, just like a good parent would set standards for the kids to live up to within their family, leaders must articulate what’s expected from each corporate team member. When there is confusion about expectations in a family, it’s not the kids’ fault!

In addition, accountability to specific expectations must also be established and enforced. In your home, what good is a curfew if no one follows or enforces it? The same must be true in our professional organizations. If your corporate family members don’t meet agreed expectations or standard benchmarks, who will hold them accountable? Furthermore, are these standards and consequences dispensed with equity across all levels of your organization? Even more importantly, how do you celebrate success when these “great expectations” are met?

Every family—both personal and professional—should have a plan for celebrating achievement. These rewards don’t have to be elaborate. Gauge your reward system by the level of achievement: small, yet meaningful objectives should be recognized differently than a great accomplishment (for instance, the acquisition of a new corporate account).

While most of us never went into our businesses expecting to utilize parenting skills, that’s exactly what successful leaders do. They guide; they set high expectations; they hold everyone accountable to the established standards of excellence. And they celebrate, in small and grand ways, whenever possible.

So leaders, KEEP PARENTING! Most importantly, keep setting great expectations for everyone to achieve!

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