April 2, 2011

Use your kids as levers

I thought I understood the concept of leverage.  Like with most things, you can't really understand it until you apply it.  Here are my great sources of leverage these days:  Finding Nemo, "the slide", cookies, etc.  

I just took an elective on leadership that included discussions on leadership experiences, both good and bad.  One comment that came up was that everyone who wants to be a leader should be issued a two year-old.  I think this is absolutely true (though it could probably include any child who's at least 2).  I can say that raising you two girls has definitely exposed my weaknesses as a leader, and given me numerous tools to apply to the art of leading Marines.

Since I spent a few years in sales, at least indirectly, I think I'm qualified to say that everyone who thinks he's a good salesman should also be issued a two year-old.  The continual give and take is a good lesson for anyone seeking a "mutually beneficial agreement."  You, little Joy, have even thrown out some good verbal negotiation techniques that I'll take to heart.

In almost two and a half years, you have taught me more about two important life skills than I thought I would learn.  Surprisingly, two beautiful baby girls, one who's just learning to talk, and the other who can't yet walk, have more lessons on leadership, negotiation, first aid, and so many other things, than you could imagine.  It's amazing, really.  I've always heard that kids teach you more than you teach them.  True.  Thank you, girls. 

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