By LeRay Warrior, Principal at MEDiAHEAD
It is often said that valuable life lessons can only be taught by those who are older and possess more life experience than we do. For example, “wait until you’re my age, then you’ll understand…” is an adage I’ve heard many times during my career.
However, in the past 2 years, I’ve learned just as much about life from raising my beautiful daughter, as I have from those who were so eager to give me their two cents of wisdom when I was developing into a young man.
Here are three of those lessons my daughter has instilled in me, making me both a better businessman and all-round human being.
Despite her tender age, my daughter is extremely determined in her everyday activities. If she has decided that she wants to do something, then there isn’t anything anyone (including me!) can say or do to stop her.
This includes situations where it would be much easier to stop and try something else. It doesn’t matter what roadblocks there may be, she’ll find a way to get it done. It’s been an important reminder to me about the importance of not just determination, but also perseverance. She has demonstrated to me that no matter how hard something may be, the words “I can’t” rarely, if ever, come out of her mouth. This attitude of not taking no for an answer has helped me to get to where I am today.
This is particularly the case in my sales process, where I fully expect a potential customer to initially say “no” or “not interested” when I first interact with them. Most salespeople are aware of the “Rule of Seven” which is that you’ll have to interact with a customer or client at least 7 times before doing business with you. Yet so many give up after the first “no thank you”!
My daughter has reaffirmed those values in me and I hope they will continue to prove fruitful moving forwards for MEDiAHEAD.
Since my daughter is still young, she is yet to develop what some would call “a filter”. Which means she, without fail, calls things as they are. She will always tell the truth, even if it is to her own detriment.
Being honest is one of the traits I value most, and I feel it is even more important for those in leadership positions. It can be hard for employees of any level to receive constructive feedback since it could lay bare some of their faults. But I am a firm believer in being up front with people because it may that they were unaware of their own behavior, which can be fixed harmlessly without the need for any arguments of upset.
But I don’t just value honesty between employees, I make it a cornerstone of my client relationships. Things do go wrong from time to time, and whilst it’s not ideal, I feel it’s always important to front up to the issue, explain what has happened, why it has happened and how you’ll ensure that it will never happen again.
If you’ve built your relationship on honesty, your client will understand much more than if you try to cover something up and get caught later down the line.
I find my daughter’s honesty refreshing. She reminds me on a daily basis the importance of telling it as it is, whether that’s by giving honest feedback to other employees to help them develop or by owning up when something hasn’t gone as well as it should have for a client.
When we develop into adults, we sometimes lose the fearlessness we had as a child. We want to continuously take the safe option, and never make ourselves too uncomfortable. However, my daughter is at a stage of her young life where she does not have the fear that we seem to develop as we grow older. She always dives head first into tasks without taking the consequences into account. If she gets something wrong she simply puts it down to experience and is eager to learn the correct way of doing it.
Witnessing these actions on a daily basis gave me the impetus to take a leap of my own by joining MEDiAHEAD without fearing any potential consequences. It has also completely pushed me outside of my comfort zone by forcing me to learn a new industry from scratch. Taking on this challenge has been one of the best career decisions I’ve ever made. I wouldn’t have been able to make it without my daughter reminding me about the benefits of removing fear from the equation.
Many of you will have had to make similar choices in your life, and it’s hard to not think about the effects an important life decision can have. But sometimes you have to trust your gut and commit. When this opportunity came along, I had to grab it with both hands and hang on!
It may have been the case that without my daughter I would have still been in my safe and stable former position. Thankfully, she gave me the nudge to take a risk, and it’s already paying off.
I owe my daughter a lot. Obviously she has contributed far more to my life than just teaching me important life lessons, but she has been there to serve as a timely reminder on more than a few occasions. Often at the moments when I’ve needed it the most.
I’m sure if you’re a parent, you will have had many similar experiences. Which, for me, goes to show it is not always those who are older and supposedly wiser than us that can teach us the value of determination, honesty or fearlessness.