Monday, March 7, 2016

Managing the Home / Managing the Country - #softskills #AbrahamLincoln #family #USA #mentalflexibility

Running a country parallels raising a family in some aspects. They both require commitment and passion day in and day out. Commitment is a mindful decision that plays out in consistent action whereas passion is having a clear vision, having 'fire in the belly' and knowing how to be motivated towards a worthwhile goal. Without these two, one will be hard-pressed to get much of anything done, or get anyone to also invest in the common goals.

Just like families have to work together for the benefit of the children (the future), managing a country, such as the United States of America requires a clear understanding of what it is all for.
On a local level, such as a family home relationships matter. Taking care of and fostering rapport between the parents AND the  parent and child is pivotal in setting up future interaction and harmony within the family unit. This involves putting the needs of others before our own and that action speaks louder than words directly to the heart of each individual on the team. Empathy in action is contagious and positively disrupts systems.

On a national level, many of the parameters stay the same. Relationship-building is central to forward-momentum in getting solid initiatives to be successful. This holds true even if the plan is not top shelf and here is why: when people feel that you are for them, they are more akin to receive your plans in a constructive manner even seeking to go as far as helping you to make it better. That is because in that environment, people are valuing people over ideas and things. This shift in relationship-valuing allows for remarkable transitions in people, families and organizations. On a gut level, this begins to be understood. This is mental flexibility and that is an executive function skill.

So be it in a household with mom and dad calling the shots or the president speaking with congress in a bi-partisan way, how we treat each other communicates our intentions and the degree of camaraderie, respect, honesty and sensitivity we have for one another trumps differences in opinion long before a word is uttered. Over time, a historicity of trust is banked on and  in the best of
circumstances people whom would have otherwise not been helpful will be the one's opening doors for us.

This is how President Abraham Lincoln managed. He kept his friends close, but he kept his 'enemies' closer. He was able to beget the respect and love of many by consistently amplifying this 'frequency.' Being practical and easy to work with becomes paramount then. When we create a welcoming environment for others in our hearts and minds we become known for being mentally flexible. This begins a positive domino effect for us and for others as they take 'license' from what we do and replicate the formula of empathy and teamwork in their own endeavors, be it at home or in the White House.

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