How parenting helped me understand leadership

How many of you, like me, have felt your lives change drastically when parenthood happens?

I was having a conversation with some colleagues about how new mothers would like to be treated in the workplace. We all agreed  that, like everyone else, they wanted to be treated as human beings.

As for feeling human after a newborn has descended upon parents (especially first-timers), we talked about how the lack of sleep and the little blessings we take for granted (like being able to go to the bathroom without worrying about leaving our new charge alone for a few minutes) can simply evaporate. Hence, the case for increasing post-natal depression - and that is the only reported cases.

My colleague and friend, Jan Roberts, who is a best-selling author of The Better Babies series, is embarking on research as a University of Sydney Pharmacy star alumni on post-natal depression - and how we can manage it with minimum (to preferably nil) drug intervention. She also noted that statistics show an increasing trend towards pre-natal depression as a rising epidemic.

I can certainly relate to that. With my first pregnancy, I thought I was an isolated case of pre-natal depression - for it is not something we find easy to discuss. The insights from overcoming my antenatal depression became an exciting discovery into what true leadership really means. It is in realizing I did not have to have all the answers in parenting, and stepping into this vulnerability became the key to understanding leadership as a process - and not a role.

As it turned out, I have now found that the leadership lessons from the home can be translated into the work tribe -where I help business leaders in senior management roles revisit their own insights at home and how they can be more authentic leaders in their work. In my recently published 'Tribal Insights of Sales Leaders' in the book Emerging Trends for Professional Selling Vol 1, I have tried to show how the combination of understanding one's leadership essence combined with 7 transformational leadership actions in learning partnership with your tribe (home/work/community) is the recipe for great leadership.

So how have you turned around a situation that began as dire, and it became the greatest gift in your life?