Thursday, January 04, 2007

Stay At Home Dad = MBA

Little did I know that my year as a Stay At Home Dad is quietly preparing me to run a Fortune 500 Company. Or so says the New York Times. And who am I to quibble? At this point, I need the money.

From the NY Times on New Year's Eve:

Under New Management
Among Your Qualifications, an M.B.A. at Household U.

Published: December 31, 2006

AS many a Kodak commercial makes clear, child-rearing involves plenty of cuddles, angelic smiles and moments of treacly sweetness. But parents know that raising children also involves those other times — when the bowl of oatmeal overflows in the microwave while you resolve a sibling quarrel, when your knuckles whiten as you grip the dashboard for your teenager’s first highway drive, when you try yet again to encourage a child who is struggling with the intractable mazes of geometry.

It is all very different from business school, or even from an office. But many parents — including famous ones like Nancy Pelosi, the incoming House speaker, and Ann Crittenden, the author of “If You’ve Raised Kids, You Can Manage Anything” — know that the experience of raising children and managing a household is not just maddening and delicious: it can also serve to develop skills that are central to successful management.

Apparently Home Depot is looking for a new CEO. And the last one got fired AND got a $210 million severance package. That would be a slight increase from my previous job.

The story continues:

Parents need to master various skills, including quick decision- making in a changing environment (what to serve in two minutes once oatmeal is no longer an option), negotiating (coaxing a young child into snow boots in time for the school bus), and synthesizing information (if a daughter goes to gymnastics, her brother has to be dropped off early for soccer so the grocery shopping can be done).

They also learn to motivate teams (let’s have a playroom cleanup game!) and to multitask (doing laundry while the chicken roasts and soccer practices are coordinated). And they praise real effort at any level, whether it’s a toddler’s painstakingly balanced tower of blocks or a preteen’s carefully drawn poster for a school election. Communication, time management and analytical skills can also be honed at home.

Raising children is “a developmental experience and you gain workplace skills from it,” said Marian N. Ruderman of the Center for Creative Leadership, a research and training organization based in Greensboro, N.C. “If you can negotiate between two kids when you’re driving, you can negotiate at work,” she added. “There’s no question in my mind about that.”

So there you have it, I just need to figure out how to blend that into my resume or my next annual evaluation and demand a hefty raise. Wish me luck.

By the way, the full story is here.

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