It's hard to imagine yuletide without children sledding and building snowmen. And, observing kids in full-on joy mode reminds us of those same things in us that were once a part of our daily experience. In leadership development, we talk so much about finding your "inner child" it's gotten to be a cliché. But what does it mean to find your inner child? Here's what it means to me:
- Being more accepting. Children welcome everyone as sources of wonder. They aren't aware of differences in skin color, religion or politics until we make them aware.
- Finding the fun. We spend so much time working that we forget to play, and in doing so, we forget how revitalizing play can be.
- Being authentic. Children are who they are without self-consciousness. In an age when many forces have the potential to manipulate us, authenticity is a powerful asset for a leader.
- Being grateful. Children often throw aside the toy to play in the box it came in. They're grateful for the chance to use their imaginations.
It's expected that we revel in these values - fun, acceptance, authenticity and gratitude - at this time of the year. What it would make possible for you, and your leadership, if these weren't just holiday values?
What are you willing to do to bring out, and leave out your inner child?