What Do Kids Teach Us About Our Careers?

This article popped up out of nowhere. I was sitting here going through the list of things I want to share with the readers of this site and my daughter was explaining how she had just built a castle. Brick and mortar or stone or something like that is what is required as far as I know, but she decided to build a castle with a little rocking chair, stuffed animals, and some goldfish. Don’t let her read this part – it looks nothing like a castle. But, boy what a castle it was! Then it hit me. She didn’t follow the rules for castle building (she can’t search the internet yet). Instead, she saw a problem, “I have no castle,” and she came up with a solution, “I’m going to build a castle.”

Why Should You Care

Every day at work we are faced with challenges. We have deadlines, projects and others to deal with. We have a set of guidelines we follow and we try to make sure we are on top of what we are doing at all times. What we generally don’t do is what my daughter just did; get creative. You see, she had an issue and she didn’t know the answer, but she decided to try things until it worked.

This is key to success at work and in life. You can read a thousand books about being a better parent, but honestly, you are going to have to figure it out on your own. You can read tons of books about leadership, many of them will give you great insight, but again, you need to put what you learned into practice in a unique way.

Ultimately, you need to find that box that is keeping you in and stunting your growth and use it to build your own castle. Get outside of it and make it the foundation for your new monument. Use it as the basis of everything you try going forward. You see, the practices that you learned while in the box made you good at your job. The things you add, once you get outside of that box will make you great.

Don’t Be Afraid To Try

Listen, when you start doing this, you are going to screw up. You are going to make mistakes and your castle is going to fall down. Eventually though, you will do something great at work. You will change the way something is done in such a significant way that you will find a new sense of pride in what you do. You will be noticed.

Take the things that aren’t working well in your daily working life and find ways to do something new and crazy to see if they make things easier. Often times, you are going to find that something that seems to be pointless or impossible, and can change your career path. There is no rule book for this, though. You have to get out there and experiment. You need to think, like you haven’t thought before, and make something out of nothing.

During the World Cup my daughter had two friends over during a finals party. The three of them worked together to come up with the silliest and most creative games. You don’t have to try new things on your own. Find people that want to become more productive and have them help you get the ball rolling. Once you get that first idea to stick, the rest may just grow at an alarming rate.

Have you started to make a change where you work? Did you think outside of the box? Follow me here for more musings about kids, work, success and leadership.


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