Raising a child is similar to managing people.

Consider this…

Both a parent and manager must inspire and lead their child or team to live a honorable, hard working life….

Both a parent and manager must inspire and lead their child or team to exceed their talents and out perform their abilities…

Both a parent and manager must inspire and lead their child or team through difficult times as well as the good ones..

Both a parent and manager must inspire and lead their child or team irrespective of outside distractions and negative influences.

  • Rules and procedure must be followed.
  • KPIs must be clearly explained, outlined, and set.
  • Rewards must be linked to KPIs/results.

I am generous by nature.
I like to give gifts and crazy incentives.

In many instances, I created a situation where one came to expect to be rewarded each time they simply did what was required.

I was once very accessible to my employees and the distinction between friend and boss became blurred.
In many cases, an employee forgot I am not a friend, but the boss with the responsibility for the whole.

I am very close to my 15 year old daughter – she has been my step daughter since she was 4 years old.

To ensure she experiences the world, I have taken her on trips to many different countries, with Rwanda next on the list.

When she does well in school, I often reward her with cash or gifts.
Sometimes for no reason, I give her a present; or take her shopping for a new outfit.

Sophie does not like my generosity with Marie; she told me on numerous occasion that I make her life too comfortable – I am making her “spoiled.”

Sophie used to tell me that I was “spoiling” certain employees, rewarding them without sticking to KPI’s, thus turning them into super bitches — she proved to be right every single time.

Last week, while Sophie and I were in India, my 15 year old daughter (secretly) had a big party at our home in Dubai with alcohol … some punk even smoked one of my cigars and drank a bottle of my wine.

Consequently, Maire is grounded for a long long long long time.


Marie is a sweet girl who used poor judgement.

Her situation is the classic example of someone being too comfortable because they are spoiled – the result of poor management/parenting on (my) part.


When I reflect on my people management mistakes of the past, the similarities are striking:

  • I became too close to the employee, thus the employee – boss relationship was blurred.
  • I was too generous, thus “spoiled” the employee.
  • The KPI’s were either not set or not clear and understood.

As we can’t “fire” Marie, and she can’t “quit” — we have canceled out Marie’s vision of us as her “friend.

We have restored the parent/daughter relationship and KPI’d her future rewards to expected results.

Personal reflection is very important for me.  I reflect all the time on how I can be a better business man, husband, leader, parent, person, etc and even something as silly as my daughter’s f’ up has helped me see even clearer my mistakes, not just as a parent, but also as a manager.

As John McEnroe once said, “life is one big learning experience…”