Lessons of the Father

For those of you who are Country music fans, you may be aware 5th March marks 60 years since the legendary Patsy Cline was killed in a plane crash with her manager, Randy Hughes and fellow Country musicians, Harold ‘Hawkshaw’ Hawkins and Lloyd ‘Cowboy’ Copas.

Patsy is part of the songbook of my life and yet she was gone well before I was born.  I’ve even named my new puppy after her.  The reason she is part of my life is because of my parents, mainly my Father.  Music has always been a big part of our family and Patsy is someone I have listened to for a very long time.

We all carry nuances that we may have learnt from our primary caregivers in the first six to seven years of our life.  Yet it is the beliefs our primary caregivers ‘gifted’ to us that may a large impact on our day to day lives.

It is possible to bond with someone over something as simple as music, even when you may have nothing else in common.  But when it comes to those long held core beliefs, it can be a conundrum for those around us.  Especially our leaders.

You may have seen me write or speak before about gaining extra children or, in fact, receiving your first set of children, when people step into their first leadership position.  This is not being derogatory to the direct reports.  There is a parent/child element to the relationship between a leader and their direct reports.  The direct reports are watching you all the time and, whether you like it or not, they will often emulate your behaviour and, if you’re lucky, your words.

The difference is you didn’t raise these ‘children’.  They may not share the same beliefs as you and this is where communication and relationships break down.  As a leader, you need to be able to reach all of your direct reports, despite their core beliefs.  You need to know how to communicate with them and provide that specific piece of information they are wanting so they will go along with you on whatever ride the business is going on today.

How well do you understand your direct reports?  Do you know the right buttons to push to bring them on the journey?

If not, maybe music will be your key. 😊

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