Monday, March 2, 2015

Directed By Kids

My daughters wrote and directed a play--a musical. Not a "big musical" (for all of you Aladdin fans out there), but a musical nonetheless, complete with choreography, multiple young stars, and flowers for the directors at the end.

Obviously, I am proud of them--who isn't proud when her children do something worthy of note (it should, actually, be noted that their brother was one of their comic actors). But what makes them and the event blogworthy is not my pride in their accomplishment. It is, rather, what I learned from them in the process. You see, my only real participation in making the show happen was picking them up after rehearsals and, as the parent of a performer, making sure their brother arrived in his correct wardrobe. They interacted with twenty or so kids and those kids' parents. They wrote and rewrote. They negotiated conflicts and hurt feelings. They came up with movement that could happen in a small space. In essence, they provided a manual on management, which included...

1. Create something you're proud of and you believe in, and then invest in it.

2. Gather people who will believe with you.

3. Allow input, but not so much that you compromise your idea.

4. Give praise, not just criticism.

5. Listen. And communicate, even when you think you might be saying things people already know.

6. Understand that your team comes from all over--different team members will respond to different things.

7. Enjoy what your team makes of what you started--without them, it would still just be words on a page.

8.  Learn from the missteps, and, if necessary, step just a little differently next time.

9. Clap for your team and yourself at the end--who doesn't appreciate a little applause for a job well done?

This weekend, thanks to my daughters, I learned some things about good management that, I would venture to say, could be pretty useful in a lot of grown-up spheres. Turns out you can learn a lot when you're directed by kids.

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