You’re the Boss — What’s the Answer?
Around midnight – nine hours before the bell would ring for the first day of school – my husband and I were having a whispering debate about how to treat our eleven-year-old’s flu symptoms. Tristan had called us into his room to let us know he was thirsty and his headache was getting worse. We suspected he was going to throw up any moment because his symptoms had been building all day. We didn’t want him to miss his first day of school. So, there was a bit of denial happening. Like maybe this will pass. Maybe he won’t throw up. Maybe he just ate something that’s making him feel off. We wanted to make sure that whatever we gave him didn’t worsen his symptoms.
We ran through the possibilities. Gatorade? Nope, too soon. That’s for afterward. I think it restores electrolytes. Apple juice? Too acidic. Flat ginger ale? Maybe. But that has a lot of sugar. And it’s midnight. We don’t have any flat ginger ale in the house. Ginger tea? He’s not going to drink ginger tea. Just plain water? Well, won’t that just make him throw up. And so it went. Back and forth trying to remember what the heck you give someone who has a stomach bug that hasn’t quite ‘activated’ yet. Our son finally interrupted our back and forth with a simple, but thoughtful, question: “So…. you’re the parents. Aren’t you supposed to know these things?”
Ah yes. How to answer that. Have you ever told an employee that you’re not entirely qualified to be their manager? That it’s a role you were ‘blessed’ with, so even though you have their best interests at heart, most of the time you’re just winging it?
My belief is that there’s not one single magic formula to being a good parent, or manager or leader. There’s the qualities of ‘you’; a commitment to your own self-awareness; an intention to do your best; and then a combination of applying what you know and seeking out the answers you don’t. We are all individuals and, therefore, unique.
I’ve had countless conversations over the years with people who ask questions like: Am I in the right role? Am I on the right track with my career? Is this really what I want to be doing? I wrote my book NAIL IT! because I wanted to take what can feel like a complex subject and simplify it. NAIL IT! provides exercises and stories to help you reflect and create a plan that’s true to you. You can order your copy on my website, karenkelloway.com, or on Amazon.ca.
This Fall, I invite you to have a little fun with giving yourself permission to not always know the answer. Try some new approaches. Experiment with new ideas of how to handle difficult situations. Admit you may not know the exact remedy to a situation, but come up with some possibilities and give one a try. If you’re sincere and genuine in your efforts, that’s what’s going to come through.
Wishing You Full Career Alignment and Success,