Jason Kerr is the Technology Training Coordinator in Organizational Development & Learning at Fanshawe College. There, he focuses on employee development by creating supports for a productive workplace culture. Jason sits on the Board of Directors for Pillar Nonprofit Network and previously on the Board of Governors for Fanshawe College. He is the proud father of two boys, ages eight and four. Jason is a graduate of Fanshawe College and holds a Masters in Education from Athabasca University.
I have always thought that great leaders are those that move barriers for their team and then get out of the way.
Over the last decade, I have found that being a great parent involves that same concept. Except that the barrier is actually us, the parent.
When our first son was old enough, we had him in everything from gymnastics and soccer to baseball and hockey. Our hope was that he'd fall in love with one of them, and it might even become his "passion"!
That didn't happen.
He liked some, but eventually lost interest in most of them. Only playdates and swimming remained by the age of five and truthfully, learning to swim was for safety purposes. But then we listened.
The signs were there. He wanted to build. He wanted to fish. He wanted to go fast. At times, he wanted to be left alone.
By listening, watching and enabling, we helped him find his niche. The only thing forced was he had to choose an activity. His choice. For the last two years, he's chosen football and skiing as his activities. Fishing is always in the background.
With football, he's learned about teamwork and working hard. As a parent, I was moved to see him with tears in his eyes after a tough loss, because of what it meant to his team. I was proud to see how he cared for his teammates.
To see him grow and learn is a privilege.
And for me, I've also learned through this. I've learned to watch and listen. Get out of the way, and let him do his thing.
Encouragement and discovery starts with words.