For the last several years, I have been angsting over my son’s inability to consistently socialize with his peers at school. Birthday parties, sporting events, play dates and random encounters with new children all seem to go well. School, however, has been a challenge off and on for years.
Recently, we were encouraged to visit an occupational therapist to see if maybe he has some sensory integration challenges. Sure enough, with just a few tests it looks like we’ve found the (treatable) culprit.
Words have power. Lots of power. Sometimes, it only takes one word to shut someone down, have them discount your feedback and make you powerless as a leader.
Even in well-meaning hands, it is a weapon waiting to launch. It is a chisel, chipping away at confidence, one word at a time.
As a leader, I take lessons and opportunities to improve wherever I can find them. I expected, when I became a mother, that much of my time would be spent teaching my son all sorts of things in his journey to adulthood. I did not realize, however, just how much I would learn from him.
My five year old is a great athlete. Anything physical that he tries, he masters. He’s a great swimmer and cyclist and tackles a double black diamond ski run with no fear.
Academically, he approaches his work the same way he approaches sports. He struggles at the beginning of a new concept, and then he gets his head (or body) around what needs to happen and quickly masters it.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of attending the Simmons Leadership Conference in Boston. I was surrounded by 3,300 women – and a handful of men – all eager to hear and share thoughts, stories and ideas on women in leadership.
During a session on mentoring, a panel of women executives were asked who their most influential mentor was and the best advice he or she had given them. Their stories were moving and filled with inspiration.
This week, I thought I’d share the best advice I received on my journey. Advice that continues to guide me today.