All the recent news regarding the financial markets makes us think about our kids’ future, as well as our own. We recently attended a parents’ night at our kids’ school – actually, we went three times!
Perhaps the most interesting part of the parents’ nights was a speech on developing children to reach their full potential. The lessons we heard apply to all of our organizations, pursuits, and even the financial markets.
The presentation was artfully targeted to urge appropriate parenting leadership, which also seems to apply to leadership in general. The principles included a balance nurture, structure, and latitude. Providing all three principles becomes a difficult commitment in the face of challenges in our fast paced world but are essential for success.
Nurture includes the desire of all people to be wanted and loved. Nurture is essential to give individuals a sense of belonging. Nurture is developed by showing love and respect, both directly and by example. This is an essential aspect in creating healthy people, organizations, and satisfying lives.
Structure is the framework and expectations people have for their pursuits, responsibilities and ventures. Structure includes rules and guidelines that are required to be followed. It also includes process management protocols, as well as behavioral standards. Over time, structure becomes the values and culture of our organizations, and is reflected in all we do.
Latitude is the freedom within the structure to use judgement to experiment and learn. Given this latitude people and organizations will have failures and setbacks. These are the areas for more growth and learning. If there are appropriate nurture and structure then the learning and growth are appreciated, accepted and raise performance to higher levels.
Authoritative leadership within these three levels provides the best opportunities for future successes. Virtually every neurodevelopmental and psychological study supports these elements as building blocks for success.
Balance between nurture, structure, and latitude is important. With the latest investment bank debacles it appears that the balance between structure and latitude were out of wack. We can imagine how nurture was probably out of balance too. Perhaps a few lessons in elementary leadership would benefit our political and financial leaders.