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Top Ten Things Kids Teach Us About Our Careers
by: Carwin Dover
Inciteful Insight: * Children may be better teachers about our career than graduate degree professors. From infancy thru teenagerism, our children give us great tidbits which can be useful in our own career development. The method to discover their teachings used to be written on railroad crossings. Stop, Look and Listen. The following are some samples of what you may learn when you stop, look and listen to your kids.

* Inciteful is spelled intentionally to mean to urge one into action.

10. Work will go on without us.
If you have ever missed work in order to care for a sick child, attend a school event, or just go fishing or shopping, you know the work you missed was somehow done. I know I now wish I had tested this teaching more frequently.

9. Pace yourself.
Go for 8 or 10 or 12 hours at a hundred and ten per cent, arrive home and then just try to give five minutes at seventy five per cent to an excited child. For some reason, that little person who considers you a hero, God and desirable wants all of you until bedtime! Kids will attempt to teach you to save energy so you can make a sprint to the finish at the end of the day or week.

8. You are the most important person who works there.
My Dad was a Methodist minister for 50 years. I came along towards the end of that career. He knew God was the most important person, closely followed by the janitor, chairman of the board and all of the other members of the church. He was last in line. When I first began to remember at about 5 thru about age 49 when he died, I always thought he was the most important person who worked there. Not even the Bishop could come close!

7. Success is often in direct proportion to attention given.
Children try to teach us that lots of attention creates success. I was one who figured out that lots of attention given to a career made it possible to climb the ladder of success quickly. Eventually, my kids and wife taught me the value of balancing career and family, or should I say I finally learned what they tried to teach me all along!

6. Giving honor comes easy with respect.
When my kids were young, they had great respect for their Mom and Dad. They gave us honor easily and frequently with drawings for the refrigerator and stories from books and their imaginations. When we respect our boss, our employees, our fellow workers, our customers and suppliers, it is much easier to say "Thank You!" All we need to do is let them earn our respect and be respectful.

5. Humor is a serious asset.
Raising kids is serious business. Luckily, kids usually provide ample opportunity for parents to be humored by their antics, struggles and successes. Add a little humor along the career track and you may even find yourself drawing a Dilbert cartoon!

4. Two heads are better than one.
Take on a kid one on one and you have your work cut out for you! Include your spouse in the process and your odds of success increase. Transfer the lesson to marketing, customer service, employee training, and other challenges. Use the expertise of those around you. Allow me a shameless marketing tip: Hire a coach and discover how two heads draw out your own expertise.

3. Attraction works better than whining.
How many times have you said, "Quit your whining or you won't get anything!" You were trying to teach your child to act and behave in an attractive manner. Go and do the same in your own career.

2. A power play is a temporary victory.
I always tell parents, "Avoid power plays with your kids. If you don't, your child will always win." Often I receive a quizzical look with, "But if I ground my child, they lose, right?" Think about it. Those battles are often repeated and what fun is that? Find ways to avoid power plays in your career to elevate yourself.

1. Behind great success is a greater spouse.
It is easier to raise kids with a Mom and a Dad. It is easier to to develop a career when your spouse is supportive. Let your spouse know what your definition of supportive is and remind one another you are both on the same side. The world is yours.

About the Author

Carwin Dover works with owners and managers who want to balance their business and who want to balance their life. Learn more at .


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