Raising responsible, promising, and disciplined children is hard work - it’s no wonder that being a housewife or stay-at-home dad is sometimes considered a job in itself. Some sites speculate that if we were to pay parents for the investments and sacrifices that they voluntarily make for their children, the cost would be anywhere from $50,000 to more than $100,000 a year based on the difference in how much time is spent over the standard forty hour work week.
So in this sense, being in an executive position as a professional definitely has some overlap both in terms of the aspect of the value creation that’s involved in child care as well as the intensive, round the clock management (or supervision) that infants and toddlers usually require. Let’s take a look at the major parts of this overlap between the role of a parent and the role of an executive.
A little less than 80 percent of families have two or more children according to research conducted by the Pew Research Center. That means that most families will be dealing with at least two children - that’s two independent people with wills of their own doing whatever they want. Being an executive requires you to handle multiple issues simultaneously on the job, so when one of your children is drawing on the walls and the other is crying, you’ll be able to address these pressing problems with more skill.
Mark Caine remarked of this attention to detail saying: “Meticulous planning will enable everything a man does to appear spontaneous.” If you’re a manager or executive with a decently high position in the company hierarchy, chances are that you’ve trained your eye to discern small, unimportant mistakes that have huge consequences. As it applies to parenting, you’ll be able to better notice when your child is lying or what they’re feeling at any given moment and hopefully respond in a way that helps guide your child’s development in the right direction.
Ability to Command Authority
If you’re an executive you’re going to be in charge of multiple adults on a daily basis. Apple’s CEO Tim Cook is rumored to have 17 people directly reporting to him. That means you’re going to be telling other people what to do and allocating their time in a way that maximizes productivity for your company - the ability to command authority is key to that leadership process. The point here is simple: if you can manage adults, you probably have a good shot at managing children.
This one’s pretty self-explanatory. According to research regarding how CEOs allocate their social time during professional hours: “In one sample of 65 CEOs, executives spent roughly 18 hours of a 55-hour work week in meetings, more than three hours on calls and five hours in business meals, on average.” There’s no question that your sense of people’s abilities and competencies, their intentions, needs, and goals will translate very well when empathizing with your children.
This executive skill often goes hand-in-hand with exuding a calm, confident, and reliable authority since one’s authority derives from one’s ability to confidently make beneficial decisions in the face of risk. The notable Glee actor Cory Monteith once said: “At some point, you realize your parents are human. They make the best decisions they can with the options available to them.” The quote shows the importance of a confident front and decisiveness put on by parents in the process of upbringing disciplined and respectful children.
The Ability to Think on Your Feet
When it comes to children and businesses, one thing that they have in common is that they require you to expect the unexpected. As an executive, you’ll be constantly dealing with a multitude of minor and major slip ups. When it comes to dealing with your children, a parent’s ability to think on their feet and come up with ways to improve the lives of the children based on their personalities and abilities is incredibly significant.
Understanding How to Use Rewards and Punishments
This premise is simple - punish bad behavior and reward good behavior consistently - it’s psychologist B.F. Skinner’s famous theory of operating conditioning. Instead of handing down performance reviews, bonuses, and promotions to your employees in an executive role, this skill transfers to using an academic report card of the student to decide whether they should be rewarded or disciplined.
Former Governor of Maryland Martin O’Malley considered that “Leadership is about making the right decision and the best decision before, sometimes, it becomes entirely popular.” That stance towards leadership especially applies to executives who make seemingly questionable decisions that ultimately yield great dividends or returns in the future. Investments in children - who often don’t know which decisions are right for them - before they know it is a trait that being an executive can help you guide them.
Last but not least, we have time management. As an executive, there’s no doubt that your schedule will usually be hectic and incredibly busy as you take phone calls, attend meetings, brief your investors, and so forth. Having well-developed time management skills is an incredibly important aspect of being able to effectively fill the role of an executive. Your time management skills will not only benefit your children in teaching them the value of being on time, but it will also allow your child to be more productive as they develop time management techniques to address their own issues.