We were all kids once, and then we turned into adults. I'm not sure when it is, that we suddenly decide that we are no longer children and that other's are no longer impacted by the way they were raised.
The magic number in America is 18 years old, where you are then awarded the title of adult. Which is pretty funny, because the 18 year olds I've met, are still very much shaped and molded by their childhood experience.
Somewhere along the way, 18 turns into 25, which turns into 34 which turns into 40.
And somewhere along the way, we stop having empathy for where people came from, how they were raised and the life experience that had them see the world the way they do.
It's impossibly naive to believe there is a magic transition that occurs between childhood and adulthood that cures you of the impact of your childhood.
As a leader, it's important to know this about yourself, your followers and your own leaders. The behaviors that you dislike most in others, are typically an affect of some trauma they experienced in their life.
Nobody comes into the world distrusting, defensive, unaware, controlling, abusive, disconnected, dominating or disrespectful.
And, through many years of experience in connecting with people at the deepest levels, hearing their stories and their heartbreaks, the two most valuable things I've learned:
1. The more extreme or out of bounds the behavior is, the more level of pain, trauma or abuse they have experienced... EVERY SINGLE TIME. 2. Whatever the thing is that annoys you about a person, they typically already know this about themselves and beat themselves up for it 10 times harder than you ever could.
So the thing is, we were all kids once and then we got older. We are all still incredibly shaped by our childhood experience. Many people have experienced incredible trauma, and it all manifests in many different ways.
Having an understanding of what shaped the people you work with can give you new ways to access their greatness and effectiveness.
And, it will make you a much better leader.