Life Lesson from a 5-Year-Old

I just had an epiphany and it’s all due to my 5-year-old daughter. Every morning without fail, my daughter throws an absolute fit about getting dressed. The clothes’ color, texture, how loose, how tight, on and on…

For a reason I’m not even sure of, I grabbed three shirts, three pairs of bottoms, and three pairs of socks. She just stared and looked at me funny. I was thinking, well, here we go again…

To my dismay, she grabbed one of the shirts, a skirt and then a pair of socks. No fuss. No crying. No anything, except a smile on her face. I was thinking to myself this can’t be real. For literally months, I have dreaded the morning kicking, screaming and saying, “this is the worst day of my life!” Literally, I have a video of this. 🙂

This got me thinking. How simple this was, and how different my morning time with my daughter can be. I can cut down the amount of time explaining myself and fighting what I have thought was the “good fight.” I then started to reflect on this from a leadership and business sense. How many times have I seen leadership (myself included) say, “let’s do it this way” and not even completely sure why we do it that way?

The golden life lesson came down to empowerment. To empower someone to feel a part of something and allow someone to not just take direction but be able to share an idea. To truly listen to an idea and if it makes sense, act on it as well. My daughter just needed to feel she had a choice and that her opinion mattered. Who would have ever thought this would be such a game changer and why should I really care if she wears her socks inside out? 🙂

Take a step back, we are all human. We all want to feel like we are part of something bigger and that we can assist in doing so. How can we do this? By empowering those we work with. To listen, truly listen. Give individuals the power to be change agents. As I reflect on my leadership experience, I can think back to multiple occasions where I have personally fallen short and for why? Is it ego? Is it tunnel vision? Or is it the fact I tell myself I just don’t have time for this?

Change can be messy at times, but one thing I learned on this early morning with my daughter is, people need to feel they have a voice and that their opinion matters. Hopefully, taking this into consideration might be as big of a game changer for you as it was for me.