Helicopter parents can be vilified. Snowplow parents can be criticized. Some are horrified by parents who encourage their kids to jump off the bungee platform. All three styles have their place, and all have one leadership outcome in common – Build Confidence. Meet Isabella, our youngest who’s thriving in her 21st year, and the focus of this leadership post.
A few days ago, I asked a corporate audience, “How many were athletes?” The follow-up question was, “What percentage of results in competitive environments had to do with confidence?”
From this survey of 300 folks, “80 to 100%” was the range attributed to the value that confidence brought to any given outcome in sport. Broaden the focus to the artists or salespeople. The importance of confidence is evident.
Levels of confidence play a massively significant factor in all results.
Yes, skill is a baseline factor but without substantial confidence, results will be compromised. Let’s jump back to the three parenting (read leadership) styles.
Hovering over your child to ensure they have a grasp on consequences is critical in the beginning. But too much helicopter parenting will inhibit a child’s confidence acumen.
Paving the way for smooth life experiences can be irresistible.
- “How much do you need? - - I’ll pay for it.”
- “What did that person say to you? - - I’ll take care of it.”
- “Where are you? - - I’ll come get you.”
Again, if the child is truly in danger, then getting involved up-front is essential parenting. But physical and emotional scrapes are a part of building confidence.
Bungee Jump Parenting
This parenting style has its place too. From our perspective, we always tried to make “The Jump” our kids’ idea, not “A Shove” from our agenda. For example, they’d come to us with a desire. “I want to make a documentary about the dangers of vaping for teenagers,” said a 15-year-old Isabella. Instead of making a statement of “yes” or “no.” We would ask a question, “How are you going to do that?”
We would marvel at her pursuit of raising money through babysitting or hosting Camp Fisher in our backyard. We might share some costs but “The Jump” was hers to take while she built confidence in the process.
By the time Bella hit 21 she knew the drill. If you want something, go get it.
She applied to be one of the 14 kids selected to the Prague Film Institute. 100% from her initiative, she hustled for scholarships and did video work for local entrepreneurs while she waited to see if she was selected. She ended up being chosen and instantly had the funds to jump across the pond to a study-abroad in the most magical city in Europe. After years of building her confidence muscle, she thrived and made her mark.
While there she applied for a three-day pass to attend the Cannes Film Festival. Before coming home she attended this marquis experience in her chosen field of filmmaking.
Parents and leaders who build confidence will see their kids and employees thrive.
PS Be nice to Isabella because we’ll all be working for her one day.