If you’re a parent struggling to be a mentor, teacher, and leader at home right now amidst the chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’re not alone. Parents across the world are grappling with what it means to be all of these things for their children, while staying connected to work and maintaining mental sanity from the confines of whatever usable square footage their home allows.
Mark Timm, father of six kids, successful entrepreneur, and co-author of Mentor to Millions: Secrets of a Success in Business and Beyond, gets it, and wants to reassure stressed out parents across the U.S. that they are closer than they realize to the clarity and confidence they need to lead a family that they are proud of every day — especially during a time of chaos. Most parents already have the skills and knowledge to make it happen; they just need to know how to apply them at home.
In fact, business leaders can make great parents by applying what they already know to win at home. Parents can leverage their success at work to accomplish this because, as Mark has discovered, a business and a family have a lot in common.
In his book, Mentor to Millions, co-authored with Kevin Harrington, an original “shark” on the hit TV show Shark Tank and pioneer of the As Seen on TV brand, Mark provides tips to build a family foundation at home by leading your family like a business – now and for the long haul. Some of his tips include:
- Practice being intentional — This means chores, manners, schedules, homework, and being part of a team, which is your family! Like businesses, family depends on growing people. The good news is you already know how to develop people in your business.
- Make every family member a stakeholder — They must buy-in to the vision. Admittedly, kids can be a tougher crowd than employees, but you’ve got a lot more ways to invest in relationships with your family.
- Keep the focus on a shared goal — Try succeeding at work when everyone is doing his or her own thing. Not happening! Just like a business, that approach won’t work at home.
- Produce growth in pursuit of profit —If your business isn’t growing, it’s dying. It’s no different in the family. It has to grow to stay alive as it pursues the bottom line: a stronger, happier, healthier family.
- Be a leader — Remember that families rise and fall on effective leadership. Step up and lead.
- Use systems and routines to succeed at home every day — Your home life requires systems to function at their best. Why not apply the expertise you already have to develop better systems for your family?
- Develop communication protocols to govern scheduling, meetings, conflict resolution, and use of technology — The list goes on. You would never try to run a business without clearly communicated protocols and procedures in place. A family can’t succeed without them either.
- Hold family meetings — Business leaders are intentional about building something that would last and flourish as it grows. The same is true for families. Younger families can position themselves for future success by getting into the habit of having family meetings now.
For the foreseeable future, this may be the new reality of a typical day while we’re living in extraordinary times, but there are ways to make it feel routine.