Fatherhood and management, a matter of contamination
Fatherhood and Management, it’s a LIFE CONTAMINATION!
Among those engaged in a career or running a company, the debate about parenthood is always very interesting. Some say that a child makes it difficult to maintain a high level of performance.
The efforts required to raise a child are often portrayed as insurmountable, totally incompatible with some short and medium term goals.
The birth of my son was a turning point at the end of 2017, a crucial year for me in many ways. I changed my perspective, first as a man and then as a professional.
In his first four months of life, Ettore brought with him radical changes.
Starting a family is a continuous exercise in adaptation. In my case, it is also a delicate exercise of coordination between the management of my company and the joys (and duties) of fatherhood. Day after day I find myself dealing with new and differently complex situations, which offer me – unexpectedly – new life and energy.
“Live like your FUTURE-SELF is watching you”
I am learning to look at everything from a new, truer, fairer perspective, which allows me, step by step, to be more concrete and focused in everything I do.
I like to call it positive contamination.
First level: language
Communication between adults is usually direct. The question becomes more complicated, however, when an infant is involved. An infant’s way of communicating intrigues, sometimes surprises, confuses but also makes you think about the methods of communication.
You have to learn a completely new language to communicate with someone who has different ways of communicating. Hands, expressions, vocals and the whole body become tools of communication. It is often said that children help you to look at the world in a new way and to amaze you with the simplest things. That’s absolutely true!
In fact, I have resumed a good habit of observing my partner, becoming more familiar with the reading of body language that everyone talks about but few really know the enormous potential.
Professionals, at any level but especially the youngest, tend to hide their problems, don’t open up, lie, divert the speech to try to manage a situation of emotional stress. Understanding non-verbal communication provides additional management tools, allowing the easiest identification of problems that are not evident, understanding their nuances, details and the best way to solve them.
Understanding body language, therefore, is essential in business life for a professional, as well as in everyday life.
Second level: adaptation
An infant is able to drain his parents’ free time. Despite the joy, satisfaction and duties of a parent that fill each day, professional commitment cannot be ignored.
Every appointment, every meeting, every deadline must be managed with precise timing, estimated in time and respected. A delay, an oversight could prevent the completion of the commitments of a whole day. This is not really professional.
We must remember and put in place the good rule of dedicating exactly the time necessary for each commitment to be completed. Each task has a start time, its default time, its precise objective, nothing is left to chance and nothing should fall by the wayside.
The need to avoid waste helps to redefine even the breaks (to be dedicated to private life).
Third level: a good example
Being a parent is not a walk in the park; like an entrepreneur, you feel responsible for everything, especially how you handle difficult situations.
Teaching a child everything he or she needs to grow up healthy is a big challenge, and the best lesson is good example.
How many times does a professional find himself reflecting on the correctness of his behaviour and on the results they bring to the level of image in relation to his collaborators and clients? Countless!
A parent, as well as a manager, must set an example and educate others through their behaviour.
Too often I have to deal with professionals who pretend to be busy because they do not want to respond to a supplier, managers who have difficulty making final decisions, heads of companies who hide behind the “budget” to disregard agreements established months earlier, professionals who behave as if there were no rules or as if they were above all rules.
We must all realize that our behavior affects our team, our children and our own image, which gives us a good morning – hopefully – every morning in front of the mirror.
Fourth level: resilience
It is not difficult to agree that the future is a major concern for a parent, as is the case for an entrepreneur.
The future is uncertain; the current world of work is extremely dynamic. International collaboration and greater ease of movement have undeniably reshaped the whole concept of a career.
Some time ago, the daily newspaper La Stampa reported a figure that makes you think, only 1 in 10 workers has an open-ended contract. Short-term hiring, imposed (or necessary) shifts and increased opportunities force 21st century professionals to be dynamic. Those we will be working with in six months may not be the same ones we are following today.
And what about the students? Today they are studying, at university or school, with the awareness that they will have to face the world of work without any certainty.
They study for jobs that do not yet exist and try to obtain skills that we do not yet know. They study to avoid approaching the world of work as obsolete professionals.
Everyone says it now, you have to be resilient.
Anyone, especially students and professionals, should embrace the concept of resilience, that is, the “ability of an individual to face and overcome a traumatic event or a period of difficulty”.
Ultimately, in these few lines I wanted to share with you in my conviction that parenting can only make you better in every field of life.
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