10 Ways Frontline Leadership is like First-Time Parenting

Parenting Quote

There is no steeper learning curve in leadership than your very first frontline leadership position. Perhaps the only comparable experience in terms of needing to hit the ground running and quickly close skills gaps is in parenting. Many first-time management experiences parallel first time parenting. Here are 10 of my favorite similarities:

For Lasting Change, Find the Right Pebble

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“I really need to get healthy and start working out, but I’ve been traveling so much lately. I just need one solid week at home.” As my colleague said this, I nodded along absentmindedly. I’ve been traveling frequently as well, so I know the struggles of adjusting to life without a routine. Then I thought more deeply about what he was saying. “Wait, what do you mean you need a week at home?” I asked. He said, “You know, that way I can actually go to my gym every day and actually make an impact.” But it still didn’t make … Read More

The Millennial Problem You Still Need to Solve

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As the first wave of Gen Z graduates from college and enters the workforce, it seems as though the discussions about how we’ll deal with the entitled millennial generation is dying down. Are the needs of millennials old news or are have we just grown tired of making the whole generation a scapegoat for every bad encounter we have with new entrants into the workforce? My hope is that we’re just tired of the same tired rhetoric, because if we’ve forgotten about the core needs of this cohort, we’re set for a rude awakening.

Stop Rewarding Heroes

From comic books to princess stories, we’re conditioned from an early age to value the role heroes play in the world. They magically appear, solve all the problems, flash a smile, then move on to the next crisis. The story of the original crisis and how it was solved grows bigger each time it is shared, and eventually, the hero reaches legendary status. There are no movies about the princess who didn’t need to be rescued because her castle was built so that the walls couldn’t be breached.

Building a Leadership Value Proposition

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Developing a value proposition is one of the most important exercises one can do in a sales or marketing role. Clearly defining the value one can offer to the intended customer base and the ways in which they are superior to competitors’ offerings is the foundation for all messaging and outreach. Similarly, HR teams also develop an Employee Value Proposition to articulate the benefits of joining the organization and is used to attract and retain talent. For both the organizational and employee version of the value proposition, it really boils down to defining the essence of the organization and what … Read More

Setting the Stage for Yes

Sign reading "yes"

In our last blog post, we focused on the value of saying ‘no’ as a technique for self-preservation, boundary-setting, and focused engagement. And while we firmly believe the word ‘no’ should be an acceptable, respected response to requests, it’s also important to acknowledge the need to gain acceptance. In matrix-environments and other collaborative organizational designs, there aren’t always clear lines of authority and power. As a result, having the ability to gain buy-in and influence without power is a critical competency for all leaders. Of all the business books I’ve ever read on this topic, none hold a candle to … Read More