When developing ourselves as leaders -- both as parents and captains of industry -- unfortunately there are learning moments we miss like peripheral wisps of smoke.
That's when I first wrote about awakening to a recent work failure and hopefully learning from it -- weeks of meticulous planning, promotion and preaching a new way to deliver on behalf of a client, and then poof -- technical failure and poor contingency planning that called for an immediate decision.
Kill the project or forge ahead -- a split-second decision that has to be made, for better or for worse. A semi-rational decision that's emotionally driven made from the "gut" because of the situational duress (I'm reading How We Decide by Jonah Lehrer, fascinating book).
Decision made. Consequences dealt with. But was I really listening for the ill-prepared warning signs that were there?
At this point I'm convinced I wasn't. Hubris had any insight of failure licked.
But my learning didn't end there. Oh no, my Martian family vacashun this week has proven to be a big blip on the stumble-bumble daddiness radar. For all my chatter about listening and mindful presence, this wasn't a banner week for me.
We can't learn without making mistakes -- every failure is needed to foster learning and triumphant successes.
I say needed because I'm a big believer in the fact that, without it -- failure -- as parents (and leaders in other capacities) we'd never develop the capacity to:
L - Listen and Learn
A - Adapt for Adeptness
M - Modify your Melody
E - Exercise to Elevate
You know, the LAME moments of leadership development for parents and professional folk working towards personal responsibility.
We've all had them. We all need more LAMEness.
The bigger the fail the bigger the lesson -- especially when you're paying attention.
Paying attention is so important. Like the brief Libran horoscope that popped up on the TV monitor in Subway while we waited for sandwiches:
You're viewing with a magnifying glass when you should be using a microscope.
Allowing myself to be sidetracked by work issues and social media, it took half a week of vacation to acclimate to family focus.
And then there was the great article I found on Facebook yesterday (of course) by Rachel Dretzin at PBS Parents titled Asking Questions is the Key to Parenting in the Digital Age.
Definitely a broader topic for a future GOTG post, but the sentence that stuck me upside the head (but really wasn't surprising) was:
I'm much more concerned about all of our dwindling capacity to pay attention.
Thank God I have such a loving (forgiving) wife and daughter.
And for those of you keeping score at home, we had lots of fun while daddy learned to listen!