By some sort of miracle I found this article my father, Chet Holmes, wrote about “How to Raise Near Perfect Children.”
I’d never read it before, and being one of his children it was truly delightful to find it, for my own selfish reasons, but then as the article came to life in my hands there was something insightful buried within that had to be shared with you all.
Why? Well there are three reasons:
- If you’re a parent this is a SIMPLE yet BRILLIANT article about how to be a GREAT parent so your children can grow up to be well adjusted and pleasant human beings.
- This article is a perfect explanation that can also be applied to how to be a great LEADER within your organization and build impenetrable relationships throughout your career.
- Because I had one of the most loving, wonderful fathers on the planet; the only way I know how to show my love for him is by spreading his knowledge. And, it’s not surprising that all of his teachings tie effortlessly back into business.
In this article he starts with,
“When they are pleasant, treat them pleasantly. When they are unpleasant, treat them unpleasantly. If you reward unpleasant behavior, you will create an unpleasant child. The solution is simple. So simple.”
I read these first few sentences and watched the last year and a half of being a business executive flash before my eyes. When I first stepped into a leadership role in the company nagging requests littered my days. I began to realize quickly that this behavior wasn’t producing the kind of results I required in our business. According to my all-too-wise father, this sends the message that “when they behave badly they get what they want in life.” My father’s advice couldn’t have come sooner.
“Say what you mean and mean what you say. You have to care enough about your children to intentionally and deliberately train them that it does not pay to sulk, brood, pout, scream, or cry unnecessarily.”
You owe it to not only your children, but the people in your organization, to be consistent. Use that Pig Headed Discipline™ to create a system of checks and balances so everyone knows what to expect. In this article he gives the example of when a child misbehaves, send them to their room. Now that might be harder to do with your employees, I would suggest finding another simple standard that ensures they know immediately that their behavior is not acceptable and won’t be tolerated.
An example of a real world application:
There was a point in which, my father and CHI, were having problems qualifying leads from the radio. So, Chet enforced a policy that if you don’t qualify the client appropriately with these four scripted questions, you will be penalized and have to pay your commission BACK to the company. Why sell someone if they’re unqualified? Proving that he meant what he said, Chet eliminated any uncertainty among the employees and provided them with the exact questions to help qualify the client. That was the last day we had unqualified leads come through that division. Chet was smart enough to script out exactly what questions qualify the client, then the policy was enforced with results following close on its heels. Your employees will RESPECT what you INSPECT.
My takeaway: Create the system for how you’re going to manage your kids (organization), put the framework in place, then manage that framework consistently. Most children will resist at first, but they will ultimately understand and appreciate the new framework –or they may just go along with it. Either way, your life will be much easier, because they now have a framework to abide by. Work SMARTER, not harder.
This article didn’t just turn on a light bulb for me, it sent electricity throughout my office. Every day I am striving to become a stronger leader, and if this inspired me, there has to be other people that have that same thirst for growth that will be inspired too.
Keep learning. Keep growing. And shoot us a line every once in a while to let us know if anything we are teaching to you sticks. 😉