For Them to Become Greater, I Must Become Less

In parenting, when you are nurturing or providing for your kids, you are almost always in a serving mode, be it cooking, bathing, changing diapers. Even while you teach them, you humble yourself to do so. 

Why would a parent need to become less, for their child to become greater? 

Well, by becoming less, you let the child take initiative, take responsibility, be accountable for the outcome. 

You give the child the opportunity to grow up and make decisions for themselves.

In the workplace, the same thing absolutely applies. 

As a manager, my goal is for all my direct reports to eventually be able to take over my role. It is only when they have risen up to be greater, can I as the manager be freed from the more routine work and rise up to even more challenges. 

Hence, my practice is to give as much freedom for self-discovery, loads of opportunity to try themselves, and to let them know where they do well in. If done well, this would bolster your reports' confidence and help them grow. 

Think about how can you create project opportunities for your reports to take ownership and report directly to senior management. Be wary about mistakes, but not afraid. If you can "afford" the mistake, i.e. not always monetary, then let them make mistakes, as it is all part of learning. 

Create areas where they can contribute their ideas and their passion. It won't be work if they get excited about an idea they want to bring to life. Even if you think it's not a great idea, resist the temptation to reject immediately. Provide room for experimentation and give feedback on how to improve. 

Always remember to be encouraging and promote a growth mindset, never be condescending and never make it seemed like it was the end of the world. 

As a final note, just wanted to point out that this principle of becoming less was taken out of the bible. We must become less so that God can work through us and help us become greater.  

John 3:30 – He must be greater, I must become less.

#ParentingIsTheNewMBA #SucceedAtWork #CareerTips #ParentingSkills

"Parenting is the new MBA: Succeed at work by applying parenting skills” is a column that combines 2 distinct areas of my life: my professional view on workplace management & my personal experience as a parent.

About Edwin Ting

I help brands drive ROI through branding and digital marketing. With 10+ years of China marketing experience across agency, media and ecommerce brand, I have helped various brands drive business in China.

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