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“Parents Who Lead – The Leadership Approach You Need to Parent wih Purpose, Fuel Your Career and Create a Richer Life” – a HBR Press Book Review

Parents Who Lead

A HBR Press book review by

Before we become leaders, we are family members. Or is it the other way around? In their new book, Alyssa F. Westring and Stewart D. Friedman take their total leadership concept to a new level. “Parents Who Lead” transfer their Total Leadership concept inversely – from the he private into the worklives. The authors look at our values, what we put first in our private lives – and asknus to transfer this experiwnce in the work hours.
Sounds easy, right? After all, what is so difficult in trying to convince your colleague (who acts like a spoiled toddler) on the necessity of doing a task before all others? And it should be easy to show your boss how great you are when you constantly exceed your sales targets – by giving more than average discounts?

In practice, we are not leaving in an ideal world. And neither are companies. The projects are muddled with uncertainty, markets are changing constantly… And children grow continuously. So all in all, an ever changing game. So how do we stay ahead?
Alyssa F. Westring and Stewart D. Friedman argue that key to this is to persistently pursue the “four-win way” – moving from managing a zero sum game. We are constantly pursuing incremental gains in our lives – trying to do a little extra for our childr n, careers, goals and ourselves. It does not have to be a his way – and “Parents Who Lead” propose several specific tools to achieve this.

I will not go into all the book’s details – I recommend you go for a copy of the first edition, to be launched March 10. Instead, I will only highlight my favourite principles:

Engage Your Children…
…something so difficult to achieve in this attention-screaming world, where we are pressed with stimulus. It is important that we start “age-appropriate dialogues about the values essential to your family”. The goal is of course to create more enriching experiences – together.

Try a New Way…

…the same approach used constantly by the children when exploring our world. Our creativity is often bound by countless conventions. Smart experiments will unlock a wealth of knowledge about our surroundings, with interesting results .

These being said, I invite you to give “Parents Who Kead” a try – you might be surprised by how much you can achieve in your private or professional life.


“Parents Who Lead: The Leadership Approach You Need to Parent with Purpose, Fuel Your Career, and Create a Richer Life” by Alyssa F. Westring and Stewart D. Friedman is a Harvard Business Review Press title on personal and professional development.

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