Your grandchildren teach you some of the most important leadership lessons, even when they’re babies. They don’t know they’re doing it. They’re just being babies. Nevertheless, the leadership lessons are there for the learning.
Babies and big people do things for their reasons, not your reasons. You can’t get inside their heads and “make” them do what you want or “motivate” them. With babies, all you can do is react.
With big people, you’ve got more options. You can use what you say and do to influence the behavior of big people. You can arrange the consequences so big people are more likely to do what you want. But they still make the choices for their own reasons.
Babies and big people are unique. My wife and I have had experience with five children and, so far, five grandchildren. Every one of them is unique.
So are big people. Everyone you deal with and everyone who works for you is unique. That’s why the things that work with one person may not work at all with a different person.
Babies and big people are both bundles of possibilities. That’s easy to see with babies, who have their whole life spread out ahead of them. But big people are bundles of possibilities, too. You can help the people you love and the people who work for you explore and develop those possibilities.
Boss’s Bottom Line
Babies and big people really aren’t that different. Both do things for their own reasons. Both usually mean well. And both are bundles of possibilities.