Team Building Tip: Be A Leader, Not A Parent


This insight about team building comes from my recent experience of adopting my dog, Sachi, from the pound, and beginning her training.

We tend to anthropomorphize our pets which means we treat them like people. More often, we treat them like our children. A pet doesn’t need to be babied and infantilized, it needs to be trained in order to develop consistent responses to situations and build habits to be successful in its role as your pet. Your pet doesn’t need a parent, it needs a leader.

The same is true in building your team in your business, in your enterprise. Your team members don’t need you to be a parent, they need a leader. Their goal and yours is success in the business.

If you act like a parent with your team members, I guarantee you, they will begin to treat you like their parents. In my experience when this occurs, ALL of their unresolved childhood issues will come crashing down on you. Is that what you truly want? Will that create success?

Naturally, you will need to deal with YOUR childhood issues as well. These are the sources of most of our authority figure issues, our issues with leaders, both supporting our leaders as well as becoming leaders.

Your team members will be successful, as you train them, as you teach them to develop consistent responses to situations with their prospects and their clients. They want to build habits for success and that is your role as team leader, as manager, to facilitate the development of those success habits.

Please note that I’m using the example of dog training as a metaphor for leading your team. Of course, I’m not inferring that you treat your team like animals nor like pets.

Bottom line: Be a leader, NOT a parent!



Dr. Adam Sheck

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