Ever come home from work feeling totally lousy about how the day ended up going?
It started great. You had several fires flare up that you handled skillfully. Your boss beamed and you felt on top of the world.
Then, as the day started winding down, a last minute short-fused tasking came down from on high and your high-flying staffer bungled it. Splat. A colleague blames you for not being there to handle it. One minute you were king of the world, the next you are a complete failure.
How you process this – the self recrimination, second-guessing , or shrugging it off, will depend on how your dad handled such things.
Yup. Your dad.
There is a new book hitting the stands. It’s called The Father Factor: How Your Father’s Legacy Impacts Your Career by Dr Steven Poulter. I wrote a brief article about it on LifeTwo.com.
From this recognition you will also learn to move past the career roadblocks that frequently stem from the lingering effects of your father’s influence.
Defining five main styles of fathering, Dr. Poulter devotes a chapter each to: â€¢ The Superachiever Father â€¢ The Time Bomb Father â€¢ The Passive Father â€¢ The Absent Father (whether physically or emotionally) â€¢ The Compassionate / Mentor Father.
By becoming aware of how your father related to you, particularly in a destructive relationship, you’ll understand how your career relationships in many ways mirror your degree of comfort with your father’s emotional legacy. In this way, career roadblocks-often based on interactions with people on the job-will be more easily transformed into career building blocks that will lead to advancement and success.”
Before reading the book (I haven’t finished yet), I worried this was another blame-all-our-problems-on-our-parents. I am tired of doing that and it doesn’t seem skillful or helpful.
But this book is not like that. It seems much more helpful. It does identify career-killing behaviors you may have inherited and are blind to. And it also helps identify the shaping that occurred in you, particularly in how you make decisions and execute. When someone is puzzled over unexplained powerlessness, this may be a helpful way to inquire into the problem.
We all grew up looking to our dads for subtle and not-so-subtle clues on how to deal with power, assert ourselves and step out into the world. It makes sense that we would be influenced by their particular leadership and management styles.
I know I owe my use of humor and ability to put people at ease to watching my Dad.
How about you?
How did your father influence who you are and how you are at work?
Please feel free to answer using the “comments” form below.
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Tags: Men's Roles, relationships, The Disquiet, Work, Working with change, career, father, legacy, lifetwo, mentor, midlife crisis, The Father Factor