Anyone will tell you that running a business is not child’s play, there are rules, risks and consequences. We study business and leadership and draw lessons from teachers, parents, influential business leaders, the army, even birds and geese … but why not children?
Take a moment and watch children play – there is so much we can learn.
- Fearlessness. Watch them go to the top of the jungle gym, the top of the hill on their bike, swing the highest or run the fastest. Going to great heights or going fast, children are fearless! When did we shift from fearlessness to playing it safe?
- Playfulness. Play is the way children learn! When they are playing games they are learning to share, play together and enjoy learning. Through play they build skills in problem solving, critical thinking and social development. Learning to play is important for success in all areas of life, no matter what age.
- Curiosity. Naturally curious, hungry for information children ask questions because they want to know and they don’t give up until they have a satisfying answer. The older we get ‘Why?’ seems to take precedence over the more important child-like question: ‘Why not?’
- Honesty. “Most” of the time kids tell it like they see it, like they feel it, like they want it. To us as parents it can be a little embarrassing and even brutal and there’s no doubt their communication is genuine.
- Persuasive. If they particularly want something, they have all the reasons and will meet all of your objections to persuade you. Watch who wins! Is it persistence? stubbornness? Or are they simply tenacious?
- Wonder. Have you seen a child’s eyes light up when it rains and he or she is caught outdoors? They love to get soaked, they splash in the water and find new games to play in the rain. They remain curious and interested in everything and everyone around them.
No matter where we are in the world, children are children. There is so much we can learn from them in leadership and in business. Be open to what you can learn and soak it up.
As a mum, I often acknowledge how much I have learned, and continue to learn from my two amazing daughters.
What have you learned from your kids?
How open are you to the valuable lessons to come?