Community Magazine

Reading Sheryl Sandberg's Book, 'Lean In'

By Momishblog @momishblog

Here's my latest post on Moms Fort Wayne  Enjoy!
Choose Authenticity Instead of Perfection
I'm currently reading Sheryl Sandberg's new book 'Lean In' and I love it! I can honestly say I haven't highlighted this much of a book in a long time. I'm already planning on rereading it. For women and men alike, the insight into female leadership is excellent. As you would expect, I'm applying a lot of Sandberg's insight to my professional life. However, I find myself applying many of her insight to my personal life. The money line for me today was "...leaders should strive for authenticity over perfection" It was an great reminder that authenticity matters in every area of my leadership. This includes my role as a stepmom.  
Parenting is about leadership. We are the example our children follow. We teach our children how to live their lives by how we live ours. We are role models whether we wanted to be or not. Often we strive for (and sometimes become obsessed with) perfection when trying to be role models. We want them to see the perfect image of a mother or stepmother who always makes the right choices, is a good partner to their loved one, prepares the right meals, shows up on time to ballgames and scout meetings, attends parent teacher conferences, understands "new math", and does it all with perfect hair while wearing the perfect shoes. We strive so often to be perfect that we miss the opportunity to teach our children the power of authenticity.  
When we demonstrate perfection over authenticity, we teach our children to place value on being like everyone else instead of being themselves. We also miss the golden opportunity to teach our children how to fail and how to recover. Failing is a natural part of our lives. Recovering is an art form. When we put aside perfection and show our children it's ok to fail and that they can recover from anything that happens to them, we set them up for success personally and professionally.  
Leading authentically at home also means showing emotion whether that's sadness, joy, grief, fear, or excitement. Of course each parent has to determine what and how much to show their children based on the age and life experience of the child. However, the opportunity is always there to lead authentically by putting aside the need to be perfectly composed and instead showing pure emotion. This not only helps our children understand how to embrace their emotions and deal with the emotions of others, it also takes some of the stress and pressure off of us as parents. Constantly maintaining an image of perfection is exhausting and drains parents emotionally, mentally, and sometimes even physically. The pursuit of constant perfection in leadership, at home or at work, only sets everyone up for failure.  None of us want that. So give authenticity a try. You might surprise yourself and your kids. 

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