Leadership Lessons From a Parenting Book

What leadership and parenting have in common

Matthias Karner
ILLUMINATION

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This sounds awkward, right? How can you draw lessons for leadership from a book about parenting?

Photo by Allen Taylor on Unsplash

And yes, this had been my first thought as well after reading about it in an article by Ryan Holiday. It seems wrong to compare grown-up team members to kids. But I thought: as a fresh parent and a manager of a team, there might be something to it and read Good Inside by Dr. Becky.

I have to admit: Ryan Holiday was right! There are indeed some valuable leadership lessons inside.

In this article, I want to share my learnings with you.

The underlying message

The core lesson of the book is that kids are good inside.

If our children do something “bad”, it is only because they see the world differently than us adults.

That’s why we should always choose the most generous interpretation (MGI) when we judge our children’s behavior. They are good kids misjudging their environment. Their (to us) negative behavior is just an expression of their needs and not an expression of their identity.

But isn’t that fairly similar in leadership as well?

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Matthias Karner
ILLUMINATION

Digitalization & IT Leader. Avid Reader. Dedicated Writer. Engineering PhD. Productivity Enthusiast.