Leadership with “Child-Like” Wonder
“Adults are obsolete children” – Dr. Seuss
“It is a happy talent to know how to play” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
“He who can no longer pause to wonder and stand rapt in awe is as good as dead; his eyes are closed” – Albert Einstein
As we approach this special holiday season and gather with family and friends, we tend to reflect back on fond childhood memories and the magic that this season brings. As we mature, and the reality of life threatens our daily zest, we tend to lose sight of the fun and wonder of not just the holidays, but our everyday life as well.
So it seems fitting that we rekindle that spark in our lives, both professional and personal, and in being the leaders that we are, that we should bring to mind, and back to life, that “child-like wonder” and enthusiasm in every aspect of our lives.
Below are some simple thoughts and action to make a more profound and magical impact in both our own lives and the lives of everyone else we influence:
1. Enjoy the miracle of life. Wake up thankful for each day, each breath we are given. Child-like enthusiasm doesn’t worry about tomorrow; there is plenty of fun to be had TODAY! As they say, today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the “Present”.
2. Have fun with your family and friends. This includes your team and colleagues. They were placed in your life for support, learning, and to work together to make life enjoyable for all. Tell them thank you and your appreciation for all they do. The child-like attachment to those close to you is a staple of security in life.
3. Feed your imagination. Without child-like dreams, as the words are written, people perish. Plans and goals stem from dreams, but it’s the dreams we all had as kids of “Someday I’m gonna be…” or “Wouldn’t it be cool if…” that gave us purpose. Dream. Day dream. Let your imagination flow.
4. Play. The LEGO Company’s tagline for many years was “Play is a child’s most important work”. So it should be ours. Enjoy your job, your career. Have passion. Treat it as the fun it should be. Then, enjoy child-like play in your family and quiet time.
5. Expect great things. Child-like faith in the things hoped for creates the energy we need daily. It gets us moving, doing the right things, loving those close to us, and overcoming the challenges of life. I have a 93-year old uncle who still volunteers, skis, bikes, vacations, and greets every day as if something great is going to happen. He’s got a “child-like smile” too !!
Let’s remember as we celebrate and prepare our hearts for the New Year to reach back and retrieve that inner child. The one we grew up with. The one we were when we started our careers and business ventures. The one we still are, if given the chance to wonder again.