WashingtonExec asked the simple question to top area executives:
“If you could give your kids only three pieces of advice, what would they be?”
Today’s insight is from Alan Berson, founder of the executive coaching firm Pulse Point. Berson is also a Professor at Georgetown’s McDonough School of Business and, most recently, author of the book, Leadership Conversations, due out this summer.
When my girls were children, I gave them more advice on more subjects than they probably wanted. Little was acknowledged but much was luckily absorbed as they have turned into incredible young women. Now, they are 25 and 27 and have been essentially advice free from me for years as they have continued to chart their own growth as people and as professionals. The three points I want to make here actually are related to the book I am writing: LEADERSHIP CONVERSATIONS; Challenging High Potential Executive to Become Great Leaders, to be published by Jossey-Bass.
My advice would really be in the form of three requests:
· I would ask them to concentrate on figuring out what they don’t know that is of importance to them – to do so by asking great questions from a place of curiosity and in an open manner; which means to always be willing to change their mind based on what they hear. Then, to factor in the constantly changing external criteria that defines success including both family and professional endeavors. Finally, to seek out those who can enlarge the conversations in their life and develop a trusted advisor relationship with them.
· Now I would ask them to reflect on what they just learned as they to continually ask themselves what is important to them.
· Once they have had these conversations and reflection, hopefully they would take the actions to improve their life and the life of others around by taking positive, committed action. Without action, we are just potential.
As you might see, my desire is to coach them to find what is most important to them and to do it at a level that makes them proud and feel like they are making the difference that they want to make in the world. As we pass the baton of life on to them, it’s their race to run.