December 3, 2004

News & Opinion: Similarities

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 4:49 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

I first thought about the "cross-over" of skills from parenting to the workplace right after my son was born in the mid-1980's. I had been a business and economics reporter for The New York Times, and was familiar with the books on how to be an effective manager. After the baby came, like any good reporter, I began to devour all the books I could find on how to be an effective parent. I was immediately struck by the similarity of the advice in the baby books and the tips contained in the business books. It was an "a-ha" moment - it looked like the same material had been packaged differently for different audiences.
A few years later I attended a three-day management seminar at Harvard and sure enough, the management lessons that the assembled executives were being taught were largely the same lessons one can find in a good paperback book on parenting. When I mentioned this to the instructor, he laughed and readily admitted that much of his material was based on the writing of humanistic psychologists like Haim Ginott, the author of a classic child-rearing book called Between Parent and Child. In my own book, I point out numerous other connections between best-parenting practices and best-management practices. They really often amount to the same thing.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.