1.     Don't be afraid to take risks. Children are the best example of trying new things. Whether it's crawling, learning to walk, or even getting thrown into a swimming pool. They react based on instinct and don't overthink challenges.

2.     Reach out to others for help. It's easy to feel like you must be an expert at everything. In doing so we fear that reaching out to others may be viewed as a sign of weakness. Watch kids on the playground and at school and you will see how well they learn from others and also help others.

3.     New is Not Bad. So much of what kids try is something that they are encountering for the first time. Yet at work, adults often subscribe to a model of "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Trying new things does entail risk, but it also allows for transformational progress.

4.     Teams Improve Performance. Children start with the idea that there are no winners. While this doesn't and shouldn't hold forever, at a basic level they recognize that more can be done as a team. This removes negative behaviors that lead to short-term self-advancement over long-term success.

5.     Communication is Good. Kids talk. Sometimes it's cute, and sometimes it's even embarrassing. Regardless of where it falls, though, you know where a kids stands with their opinion. At work you can write and rewrite memo's dozens of times. Or hold back information until the timing is just a bit better. Instead, over communicate. Let your employees know what is on your mind. Tell them how the company is doing. Give them honest feedback.

6.     Manners / Friendship Matters. In our fast paced world we sometimes lose our appreciation for old-fashioned values and respect. Whereas a busy executive may walk by others without much more than a head nod, kids will frequently yell "Hi" and wave to others. Simple little acts like this can pay massive dividends in boosting employee engagement. 

7.     Don't Dwell on Failure. Kids make mistakes all the time but they keep going. Without thinking about it, they are showing the mistakes are a hallmark or learning and making progress.

Published on: Feb 6, 2018