The parallels between parenting and management mistakes

Kathy Caprino, a contributor to, recently spoke with Tim Elmore, founder and president of Growing Leaders ( about parenting behaviors that prevent children from growing into leaders. Some of the same mistakes may be made by managers when guiding their teams.

We rescue too quickly. When we rescue too quickly and over-indulge with “assistance,” we remove the need for others to navigate hardships and solve problems on their own. It’s parenting/managing for the short-term and it sorely misses the point of leadership — to equip our young people to do it without help.

We don’t let them experience risk.
Insulation from healthy risk-taking behavior has an adverse effect. You need to fall a few times to learn it’s normal. If we remove risk, we will likely experience high arrogance and low self-esteem in our growing leaders.

We rave too easily.  
The “everyone gets a trophy” mentality might make our kids feel special, but research is now indicating this method has unintended consequences. Kids begin to doubt the objectivity of their parents; it feels good in the moment, but it’s not connected to reality.

We don’t share our past mistakes.
Sharing the relevant mistakes you made when you were in their shoes helps them learn to make good choices. Share how you felt when you faced a similar experience, what drove your actions, and the resulting lessons learned.