Are You Enjoying Your Followers?

leading joy childToday my one-year-old daughter danced in circles whilst tickling herself silly. Meanwhile, my three-year-old son built a castle-spaceship-car out of Lego’s.

I love my kids.

I believe that’s one of my chief jobs as a Dad—to enjoy my children. Sure, Sarah and I can teach them to use the potty, say “please” and “thank you”, tie their shoes, eat their veggies, play nice with others, work hard, and, overall, become productive members of society. But if they never learn that they are enjoyable—not just useful—they’ll never know true joy themselves, regardless of how “successful” they become.

We often place such a disproportionately high value on the utility of a person that we forget to enjoy them. The truth is, positive reinforcement just encourages someone to repeat a desired behavior. On the other hand, delighting in someone for who they are (not just what they do) unleashes confidence, creativity and poise. It frees them to be themselves and offer the best they have.

If that’s the case, then one of my chief jobs as a leader must be to let others know how much I enjoy them.

How have you seen enjoyment unlock a person’s potential?

6 thoughts on “Are You Enjoying Your Followers?”

  1. That’s quite the best blog post I have read today Geoffrey!

    It actually struck a chord with me, thinking about teaching. When they know you really do care that they do their best and achieve whatever they can for them, they often tend to do just that.

  2. I love my kids and enjoy being around them, but I still needed to read this. As a parent, I spend so much of my time trying to correct, mold, guide, whatever… As they get older I’m beginning to realize just how little time I have left to get everything right.

    Thanks for the reminder to spend some time enjoying them.

  3. This happened yesterday, the day you wrote your post.

    My son (5) said. “Daddy, I don’t need you any more.” I quickly responded, “Whaddoyou mean,” shocked. Then he proceeded to tell me how awesome he was beating a tough level in the LEGO Star Wars video game by himself. I was relieved, for the most part. He loves this game, and is tutoring his older sister in its nuances, and enjoys every moment of it.

    How does this unlock potential? We’ll see, but he’s a pretty good teacher to his sister. I will admit that I did ask him if this meant we know longer got to play together. “Don’t worry Daddy, there are still a couple of tough parts.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *