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Monday, 03 September 2012 11:52

Leadership at Work and at Home Means Respecting and...

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Wise women have observed that the qualities that make for a “good” boyfriend are not necessarily those that make a good husband. The wild, unpredictable heartthrob in a romantic comedy may be great for a few dates, but he’ll probably be an unreliable partner in life. In the same way, the quiet, compliant child who never does or says anything to displease you may be an easy 6-year-old, but she may not make a very strong adult.

Allowing your children to speak their minds in a respectful manner encourages them to develop the thinking skills they will need for the rest of their lives. Don’t shut them down like a tyrant, but don’t let them become dictators. Remember that power cannot persuade the heart.

A boss that rules with an iron fist will lose every employee who can find a better opportunity, leaving him with the “rubber stamps.” The parent who runs a house that way will either lose his child when she’s old enough to leave or will raise an adult utterly dependent on a stronger person to tell him what to do. You don’t have an obligation to give them the answer they think they want, but you do have a responsibility to listen and help guide their thinking. 

In business, the most valuable people are those who can solve problems creatively by introducing fresh ideas and solutions. Those who never ask “why” may be too willing to comply with the status quo and are less likely to proffer new solutions. Others are simply not invested enough in the company to care. Understand that it is not your authority that persuades. It is your reasoning and your care.

Only weak leaders view questions as an attack on their authority, and it is their loss as well as their employees’. Stifling creativity and discouraging alternative perspectives on problems leads to the kind of myopic decision-making that drives entire industries out of business. Embracing the ingenuity of your employees brings out their best and the best for your company.

The same is true at home. Two-way communication with our kids not only strengthens our relationships with them, it also nurtures their imagination and confidence. If we think their viewpoints are important, they will too. By discouraging questions and squelching independent thought, we are telling them that they do not have anything valuable to contribute.

Expect pushback and welcome it. You are not wasting your time by doing so; you are investing in your team. Seize pushback as an opportunity to converse with and motivate your people at work and at home. That is the foundation of leadership.

This is my opinion. It worked for me and it can work for you. You just have to try it!

About Chris Efessiou: Chris Efessiou is an Entrepreneur, Leadership Expert, Marketing Strategist, Negotiations Architect, Educator, Mentor, International Speaker, Radio Show Host, and best-selling author of CDO Chief Daddy Officer: The Business of Fatherhood based on his own experience from raising his daughter as a single dad by applying his business knowledge to the business of parenting. For more information visit, connect with Chris on Facebook, follow on Twitter and listen to his radio show Straight Up with Chris: Real Talk on Business and Parenthood Thursdays at 6:00 PM Eastern – 3:00 PM Pacific on Voice America Internet Radio


Chris Efessiou

About Chris Efessiou:  Chris Efessiou is an entrepreneur, business leader, educator, mentor, international speaker, radio show host, and best-selling author of CDO Chief Daddy Officer: The Business of Fatherhood  based on his own experience from raising his daughter as a single dad by applying his business knowledge to the business of parenting.  Listen to Chris’s weekly Radio Show Straight Up With Chris:  Real Talk on Business and Parenthood on Voice America Radio.  You may connect with Chris on Facebook, follow on Twitter and visit