There are interesting parallels between parenting and management. The authors recently wrote a book on parenting in Vietnamese in conjunction with our son David.

This is how we view raising teens. Look at how similar this is to the ideas of better ways of managing.

Most teen kids are fine. Give them room.

But have soft and hard bounds, for their protection and yours.

Give clear policy and minimal rules. 

Let them make the decisions, you can’t be there all the time.

Let them design their life. it is their life. It is a VUCA world, you don’t know any better than they do. They may know better, they’re closer. Offer advice. They will make preventable mistakes but failure is how we learn, not by you trying to force them.  Be there to help clean up, heal, and capture learnings.

Empowerment and autonomy if you want them to grow up into effective confident adults.

Assume goodness. Trust works better than suspicion. If you want them to trust you….

When things go wrong, get close. Offer love and help, and unconditional loyalty. Blame helps nothing.

Respect them. You don’t own them, they’re not chattel or resources. They’re their own person.

Above all, keep the bond. Don’t alienate them, or drive them away.  Don’t lose the love or loyalty. As long as they honour you as leader, they’ll want approval and they’ll care about outcomes.


If this works well for teen humans, why would you do anything else with grown adults?  Don’t treat either group like children. Treat them like friends and colleagues.