Are you leading your family or just managing it?

17.12.09 | Posted in Parenting

I had an interesting revelation during a session with my coach this week. In the same way I want to lead my businesses (and not manage them), I want to lead my family (and not manage them).

In the short time of parenting my daughter, I’ve intuited that the best influence I can have is to be a role model for her.  My skill is not to sit on the floor for hours while she experiments with blocks and toys; nor is it to mash up bananas for her morning tea. Others can do that better than I can. What I hope she learns from me is how to treat others; how to be generous and compassionate; and how to make the most of every situation.

I go to great lengths to always be positive around her and to make every moment count. I want to make every interaction with her fun and uplifting and I know that I can’t achieve that if I’m with her every moment of the day. When she gets me, she gets the absolute best version of me.

Being a parent is such a privilege and if we strive to be the best role model we can, and if we work to our strengths (yours may be mashing bananas!), then I reckon we can’t go wrong. We all know that children make great mimics and take everything in. They love to copy our behaviours and will adopt our views and opinions. This video is super powerful.


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  1. Tee Twyford

    Hi Emma, love the blog, looks great and you’re raising some interesting points. This post made me think about these two recent posts from some kiwi bloggers – my fellow gadget guy Ben Gracewood and our dating guru Rachel Goodchild

    Thought you’d enjoy the perspective from parents a bit further down the path who’re embodying this “leading”.

    Have a wonderful holiday,
    Tee x

  2. Danika Pecht

    Em, thanks for the entry, it’s really powerful and so true. I love that we can be so positive to our little people and impact their lives in a way that is going to help change other peoples lives.

  3. Tripp Alyn

    Hi Emma,

    My great great grandmother was Emma Isaacs, born 1849,
    married 1866 in New Orleans, lived in St. Louis. She had 5
    daughters, no sons. Any relation? Thanks.

  4. Emma

    Hi Tripp,
    No relation that I know of, but good to have heard of another Emma Isaacs!
    All the best to you,

  5. Pip Forsyth

    Thank you Emma for yet again another great topic.

    Lead, manage or merely moulded?

    Children are born from your soul. They come into this world with genetics, DNA, some programming of sorts but it’s the nuture that moulds them.

    In my opinion our children are lent to us for guidance to help them develop their own ideals, opinions and attitudes to life. It is how they accept, rebell or blend into societies attitude that creates their character.

    A family (parent) must always be a soft place to fall no matter what – that is my type of leadership and it should be managed with grace no matter how crazy the situation.

    My delight would be for my daughters to stive to win everyday of their lives with the most important phrase “Manners will take you everywhere and to the highest place in the world!”

    “manager” of Ashlee (4.5) and Skye (20mths)

  6. Siobhan King

    Hi Emma,

    Firstly, I’d love to meet a woman who did feel that mashing bananas was part of her skill set! Don’t know if I’ve ever come across one…

    Secondly, I agree wholeheartedly that children need positive role models in their lives, and am wondering how you came to your understandings of how you can best be a role model to her.

    I am intrigued with your idea that when you are with your daughter she gets the ‘absolute best version’ of you- do you feel there is any benefit in her seeing you frustrated or angry or sad?

    Just interested in how your readings/research in this area have inspired your views.


  7. Emma

    Hi Siobhan,

    Thanks for your comment.

    I suppose what I was trying to say is that there are women who take strength from, and excel at, looking after every detail when it comes to parenting (mashed bananas included.)

    I believe that in order to be a good role model for my children, I need to learn to look after myself (I just posted about this yesterday actually – and that if I’m tired and stressed all the time it’s not sending the right message.

    I’m not striving to be perfect and present a front I’m not – of course I want authenticity and for my children to experience me being frustrated, angry and sad.

    Looking back on this post, I would’ve replaced the words ‘gets the absolute best of me’ with ‘gets my presence every time’, no matter how I’m feeling.

    Thanks again Siobhan,