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Parenting and Management - are they similar?

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As a freelance designer, I work for a lot of different companies, on a lot of different topics. Recently i've been working with a training company to produce some infographics about business management - what kind of skills you need, what kind of people make good leaders, management styles etc etc, and it got me thinking, are there similarities between parenting and management?

Though this might seem like a bit of a silly question, it was inspired by the last piece I worked on, titled '5 Ways to Simplify Your Leadership'. In it, the piece explored how management styles are becoming over-complicated, and with so much written on the subject these days and so many different 'leaders' to look to, it's not surprising.

Anyway, it made a few interesting points, and I began to relate it to the other massive part of my life nowadays, being a new dad. Our son is now 6 months old, but it both seems like no time at all and a lifetime since he was born. So much has happened and yet it seems to have gone so quickly. With no prior experience of parenting apart from what I have heard from friends, my brain jumped to a connection between these simple leadership messages and parenthood.

Again, bear with me if this seems a bit silly, but the keys messages in the infographic are:

- Focus on motivation not fear – use the carrot more than the stick

- Learn from mistakes – see mistakes as opportunities to gain insight and experience

- Be simple and clear when communicating – make sure you know what you’re trying to achieve

- Don’t try and please everyone – do what is right for the business (family) as a whole

- Focus on continued improvement – listen, recognise and implement good ideas

Ok, so some are more relevant than others, but it strikes me that a business is somewhat like a new family…maybe. Husband and wife struggling to deal with this huge change, making sure they communicate well with each other, having shared goals, try to be the best parents they can etc.

I’ve included the full infographic below, so you can read a little more on the subject. Let me know if you think management can be related to parenting, or if you think i’ve lost it completely from one too many sleepless nights!

5 Ways to Simplify Your Leadership

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