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October 13, 2020 Cory Carlson

Lessons learned from a business trip with a 16-year-old

Recently I was blessed to have my 16-year-old daughter, Kiley, join me on a business trip.

If you can take your child on a business trip – do it.

If you can’t – then find a way to do a road trip of some kind.

We drove from Cincinnati to Pawley’s Island, SC for a Five Capitals leadership coaching summit.

I was excited for her to go for a few reasons – windshield time, beach time, etc.

HOWEVER, the lessons below were far greater and I wanted to share them with you:

💡She saw me struggle

On the first night, we did some reflection exercises and then shared what we wrote down with our partner.
After I shared mine with Kiley, she said:

‘Dad, you sound angry’. 🙁

What???? How???

In further discussion and unpacking – I don’t celebrate well and instead, I am always looking to the next mountain to climb.
👉 Are your kids seeing you struggle? Are they seeing you with gratitude? Yes, our kids need to see us fail to know it is OK for them to fail – but they also need to see us grateful and not always in achievement mode.

💡 She saw me win. 

On the last day, I won an award for top sales for our company. Why is that important?
Because our entire family makes sacrifices in order for me to do my job.
Yes, I personally won the award, but my entire family really won the award for helping me be able to focus on coaching others.

👉 Are you thanking your family for the sacrifices they are making in order for you to succeed?

💡I saw her win. 

At the end of our live events, we do a cool exercise (I can’t tell you about it 🙂 – you will have to go our live events)
My daughter was bold enough to stand up and do it in front of the entire room! Had I not taken her out of the comforts of home and Cincinnati, I never would have got to see her stepping out.

👉 How can we get our kids (and ourselves) to get more comfortable with the uncomfortable?

💡I saw her dream.

We did three college visits to University of South Carolina, Clemson University, and University of Tennessee, Knoxville. I don’t know if she will go to any of them – however we talked about the future. We talked about dreaming.

👉 Are you still dreaming? Are you encouraging your kids to dream?

💡We had fun.

Singing songs in the car. She met my friends and team. We did a beach bonfire🔥.

We both needed fun.

As mentioned, I needed it because I can focus too much on the next achievement! She needed it because COVID is hard for teenagers as well.

👉 Are you having fun personally? Are you leading your family to have fun?

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My hope is this list encourages you to break out of the norm and try some new things.

I am so grateful I invited my daughter on this trip, so grateful she said yes, and grateful my wife said yes as well to allow her to go.

Hopefully you can get away with one of your kids – even if it is just a day.

Cory Carlson

Cory Carlson is passionate about connecting people to greater performance and more significant purpose. Cory's competency of extensive sales/marketing and team development mixed with character of helping people have greater impact allows him to transform businesses and their leadership. As the leader goes, so does the company...and home. Cory's professional experience includes being President of Sales for national contractor, interactions with private equity ownership, boardroom meetings, to sales call with sales personnel. Coaching experience ranges from one-on-ones with CEOs/Executives to team workshops/retreats. If looking for holistic growth, let's connect!