On a recent flight from Los Angeles to Washington, I looked out the window and this was my view from 30,000 feet. I could hear my daughter’s voice in my head saying “here you go again doodle with your 30,000-foot deal.” Incidentally, I’m doodle to her in case you were wondering. I smiled!
As a business person, a parent, and a pilot, I can assure you there is nothing like looking at your world from above to evaluate or set the proper course. Here is why. Think back to your last flight. You were probably cruising at an altitude of more than 30,000 feet, looking at the world from nearly six miles above sea level. I suspect however, that you were impressed not by how high you were flying, but by how far you could see. Take another look at the picture and see for yourself.
The beauty of looking at the big picture is the long and wide view that allows you to see things invisible at ground level.
Business leaders routinely step back from daily operations to look at the big picture or the “30,000-foot view” in order to effectively guide their organization.
Parents need similar perspective. They are the managers and leaders of their children, and as such, they, too, will be well-served by taking in the big picture and devising a long-range strategy. It bears repeating: Children become adults. This sounds trite and obvious, but to parent proactively, we must constantly remind ourselves that we are trying to do more than just get through the day. We are raising future adults.
What kind of adults do we want them to be? The old saying goes that you can pick your friends, but you can’t pick your relatives. As true as that is, there will come a time in every one of our children’s lives when they will be able to choose whether or not they want to have a close relationship with us. When that last check for college tuition has cleared, will they still call for something other than money?
I am grateful that I took the time to think about the adult I wanted my daughter to become. That is not to say I did not face my share of challenges. On several occasions, I had to remind myself that the present difficulties would pass and that she would have many more years of her life as an adult than as a child. As I routinely do in business, I looked at my parenting from a high, clear and unobstructed point of view; the 30,000-foot view. So, I set out to parent young Persephone with an eye toward the relationship I dreamed of having with her when she was an adult.
Did it work, you might ask. While you can read the details in my book, I’d share with you that a few years ago, a then 20 year old Persephone spoke these words to me in a tribute she organized in my honor on the occasion of my 50th birthday. “Thank you for helping to guide me through almost 20 years of my life, yet always allowing me to make my own decisions. I pray that one day I will be half the parent you are and continue to be to me.” So, did it work? You be the judge.
This is my opinion. It worked for me and it can work for you. You just have to try it!
About Chris Efessiou: Chris Efessiou is an entrepreneur, business leader, educator, mentor, international speaker, and best-selling author of CDO Chief Daddy Officer: The Business of Fatherhoodbased on his own experience from raising his daughter as a single dad by applying his business knowledge to the business of parenting. Connect with Chris on Facebook, follow on Twitter and visit www.ChrisEfessiou.com
© 2011-2012 Chris Efessiou. All rights reserved