Another year and another father’s day. I now understand why this was my father’s favorite holiday (mine too) and why he kept all of the cards and gifts we made for him (I do the same). And there’s a lot about fatherhood that has made me think about how it translates into doing my job better. Here are four things I’ve learned about being a father that have
helped me professionally (hopefully moms feel the same way).
Storytelling is Important. For the past several years reading stories has become a daily ritual. What I like about children’s stories are the themes and lessons learned. They have a purpose. This clearly resonates with what we do as communicators as we work to have stakeholders better understand our purpose. Good storytelling in business help make the complex simple and give better meaning to what we are doing. What’s your favorite childhood story (I like Curious George)? Can you make it relate to your brand?
Test Your Creativity. What do you do on a rainy day at home? How can you pass time on an airplane? When you go to the park are you engaged and play and how? Being a parent pushes the boundaries of your creativity and allows you to both experiment and test your thinking. It also helps your children better understand and appreciate fantasy and fun. I’m convinced the concept of brainstorming meetings is the result of parenting (think about all the times you sat down with your kids and ask, “What do we want to do today?”). There are many benefits to thinking differently and I like that as a parent — and work colleague — I can help be creative. Even playing games can help you become a better strategist.
Be Patient. Parenting and patience are hard to separate (impossible even). As communicators, it often takes time to see the full effect of our work. As social and digital projects continue to consume our daily workload it’s easy to get caught up in the immediate impact. Don’t. Even though news and information is traveling in real time 24/7, it’s important to understand the value of taking your time to have the best campaign at the right time and to measure it over a set period. Getting caught up in the
Have fun. Social and digital are changing the role of we do as communicators. Just like digital is changing the way we communicate and teach our kids, we need to cope with the complexities at work. What I’ve learned from all the demands of being a parent, and as a manager/colleague/partner, is to have fun. This is something I make sure my kids understand — it’s important to take work and deadlines very seriously, but every day make sure you enjoy what you’re doing, laugh and do the best you can.
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