Thoughts on Good Leadership

I like to think that all I learned about being a good boss comes from mentors I’ve had over the years – and I’ve been fortunate to have had a number of them. However, truth be told, I think some of my biggest lessons have come from my kids. “What?” you say.

Here’s what’s most important:

Speak the truth – My kids know that mommy just wants the truth – straight up. In my book, there’s nothing more important than honesty. It reflects who we are as individuals and by its nature spills over into our other relationships. Everyone wins when the truth prevails.

Respect one another – I have no time for disrespect. No matter the audience, we need to show respect both in the way we talk and the way we act. It’s essential to every good relationship.

Show some excitement – There’s nothing worse than someone who is uninspired, bored or apathetic. We all know that enthusiasm can be contagious – in the best way, so don’t be afraid to share a little of that passion with all those you meet!

Laugh more – The older I get, the more truth I find in the statement that “laughter (really) is the best medicine.” It can help break the ice, calm your nerves, find common ground with others and overall just make you feel good. More laughter, please, and yes, in the office as well as around the dining room table.

Share food – There’s something about food that brings us all together. Maybe it’s as simple as the fact that we all need to eat. But coming from a big Italian family, it doesn’t matter what you’re eating or the occasion, food connects us. And some of our best memories are made when we share a meal. Bon Appetit!

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Learn from one another – It doesn’t matter who’s the older sibling or who’s in charge at the office, everyone has something to learn. Isn’t it great that learning is such a two-way street?

Lead with the positive – Negativity takes a lot of energy, so whether you’re delivering criticism or talking about your day, remember to lead with the good stuff first. It may even change your view about the not-so-good stuff.

Take charge – At the end of the day, someone has to be in charge. Honestly, I don’t always like having that role, but I think I’m pretty good at it. To me, taking charge doesn’t mean bossing people around and making all the decisions. Instead, it means taking responsibility, not being afraid to make the wrong decision and leading by example.

So that’s the short list of lessons I’ve learned about good leadership from my serious and warm-hearted 10-year-old and my carefree, full-of-life 8-year-old. I guess that —much like they say about charity – I’ve found that being a good leader really starts at home.

-Melissa