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Taking cues from Mom & Dad

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers,Management Training

Asked once if he’d object to a comparison of his business guidance with the advice in baby books, Getting to Yes author William Ury laughed and said “No,” he gets most of his stuff from Haim Ginott, a child-rearing guru from the 1950s.

Lesson: What works with 4-year-olds usually works just as well with 40-year-olds. The Body Shop founder Anita Roddick once said that any mother who’s dealt with two kids and one piece of candy could negotiate any contract.

Caveat: Being too much the parent can backfire. Offering yourself as a big pillow—otherwise known as the Office Mom—has its own pitfalls.

Here are rules for both work and family leadership from some prominent leaders:
  • Former Texas Gov. Ann Richards: Never let people leave the table feeling they weren’t heard.

  • Ogilvy & Mather CEO Shelly Lazarus: Support your staff. Unconditional love is a great management tool.

  • Raytheon exec Louise Francesconi: Everybody’s different, so one size won’t fit all.

  • Time Inc. CEO Ann Moore: No whining. Do your homework.

  • Texas Instruments exec Shaunna Sowell: Within reason, let people make mistakes. It’s the only way to learn and grow.
— Adapted from “Mothering your company,” Ann Crittenden, Pink magazine.

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