Yes, you read that right. On the way to school the other day, my beautiful 10-year-old son innocently says to me, “You are a great mum, you are repugnant.”
A few weeks earlier I had read an article about parenting. The basic gist of the article was that our job as parents is to make ourselves REDUNDANT, not REPUGNANT. I had told the boys about this and obviously, my youngest remembered the concept, even though he couldn’t quite remember the word.
So, what does being made redundant really mean when it comes to parenting? It means we have taught and coached our children to the point where they don’t need us anymore. They are independent, they are resilient and they feel comfortable making their own decisions and choices. To do this successfully we have to learn patience. We have to accept that they will take longer and make more mess when they make their lunch for the first time. We have to let them learn the lesson the hard way when they forget to take their sports gear to school or forget to submit that homework.
As a time poor, working mum, trying to do my best, it is hard to wait for them to get things done when I can do it much better and much faster. But how does this help me, or them in the future? Without teaching and empowering them to be independent, they will never be able to make their own lunch, pack their own bag or do their own washing.
This has prompted me to think about our roles as leaders and managers. Isn’t our role as leaders also to make ourselves redundant? Even though we might know more and be quicker, our role is to allow our teams to learn. As we develop our careers and skills everyone needs the opportunity to try and learn new things and to make mistakes, after all, don’t we learn more from our mistakes.
Business is competitive and complex, and we are all time poor, but we cannot allow our need to get the job done to impact our role as great leaders. Making yourself redundant takes time, patience and giving people the right amount of opportunities and sometimes rope to make mistakes and learn from them.
And it is a great chance for all those time-poor parents out there to get a little time back. Seize the moment and have your kids clean their own room, do their own laundry and make their own lunch. Become a redundant parent and manager… not a repugnant one.