Management Lessons I Learned From My Toddler - Part 2

Click to read Management Lessons I Learned From My Toddler Part 1

One glance into my office here at CWS you will immediately notice two things: First, you’ll see that I have apparently learned desk organization skills from my toddler and second, you will see a number of pictures of my active, funny, bossy little guy. As you review the pictures of him I see every day, you will see many of the traits that led me into writing this series of blog posts.

That leads me to this: Part 2 of Management Lessons I Learned from My Toddler.


1. Get Moving:

Honestly, I am exhausted just writing those words. Toddlers are constantly on the move. To them it doesn’t matter if they are jumping, running, dancing or diving; they are enjoying active time. This is a great lesson to be learned. Start and keep moving! For us adults, maintaining a regular exercise routine will keep us healthier, happier and more productive.

2. Always Have Fun:

If I had to guess I would say 95% of my son’s day is spent doing things that he enjoys. Here is a list of activities according to Madden:

  • Daycare: It’s like a party everyday. I love it!
  • Hanging out with Mom and Dad: That’s the best time ever!
  • Spending time with the pets: The most fun I can have. If the dog doesn’t want to hang with me, I’ll go find the cat.
  • Time outside: Snow? Can I help shove!? Rain? Let’s splash in puddles!
  • Bathtime? I love the water! Can we go to the pool tomorrow?
  • Bedtime? Can we read some books? I love reading!

What does this mean for us? Make sure what you are doing is something you enjoy. I LOVE coming to work every day. No lie. You spend approximately 1/3 of your life and probably 2/3 or your waking hours at work, so make sure you don’t have to drag yourself through the door every morning.

3. The Power of a Smile:

I guarantee you that my son can make your heart melt in less than a minute. This is for two reasons. First, because he looks like my wife and not me (lucky kid) and second because he will come up to you with the most genuine smile. He is happy to meet you and is interested in what you have to say or what you are doing. How did we, as adults, forget this simple fact? It has been shown that people can even “hear” a smile through the phone. Generally, we sit through meetings, phone calls and entire work days without smiling. Smiling will change your day, make you happier and, in turn, make the people around you happier.

4. Sharing. It’s Hard But You Still Have To Do It:

This falls into the childhood mantra of “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine.” Anyone with a toddler understands this simple rule. As we get older we start to realize that sharing is a vital part of our connection economy. It doesn’t matter if it is Diet Mt. Dew or web code, sharing with someone today will lead to a more positive outcome for all participants in the long run.

5. Learn To Say No:

I do not believe there is a toddler on the face of the planet that has a hard time saying no. Sometimes it seems like “no” is their entire vocabulary. Somewhere along the way, we lose this ability. We find ourselves attending events we didn’t want to go to or taking on work projects that we would prefer not to do. Why? Because we think it’s easier to say “yes” and not seem like the bad guy. In the long run everyone would have been better off if you’d had the guts to say “no.”

6. Hang Out with Great People:

For my son this means his teachers at KinderCare. They are smart, patient and great at their jobs. They bring the best out of the kids on a daily basis. For the rest of us, that means working hard to make sure you are in a position with people who bring the best out of you. At CWS I am fortunate to be surrounded by talented co workers including designers, programmers, a top tier owner and the best office admin I have ever come in contact with. Surround yourself with great people and it is amazing how far you can go.


When you think about it, our toddlers can teach us grown up lessons like; how to handle people problems, watch out for yourself, stay active, have fun, always seek to learn, try new things everyday and move on, even after you’ve been wronged. So to all of you I would say, act more like a toddler today!

Question: Do you have any lessons you have learned from a toddler?