Isn’t it amazing how a happy family and a well-run company have so much in common? Just think about it, a nurturing family setup, with each member playing a special role and feeling a sense of belonging, and a successful company, with each employee feeling a sense of purpose and pride.

That, of course, is an idealized view which seems unattainable in our nine to five lives. But is it? Can one not at least strive to achieve it and make the world a better place in the process?

But where does one start with your kids if you hope to lay the foundation for this supposedly idealized future?

A few pointers…

Set basic rules

In life there are some basic, inescapable rules, no matter what century you’re living in. Instilling these in your kids from a very young age is essential, even if it takes some effort from you.

Teach them how behaviour has consequences and how, if you’re to live happily ever after as a family unit, each member will have to observe and respect certain rules to ensure the general well-being of all concerned. The same rings true in the workplace and if one thinks about it, it’s all about respect, really. Respect for the rules, respect for each other and respect for anyone who puts his or her neck out to question uncool behaviour which clashes with the greater good of the family or company.

So, that seems to be a good place to start. Make sure your kids get their heads around it and if necessary, make sure they write it down.

Let your words speak through your actions

I cannot overemphasize how important it is for parents to be a physical example for their kids. You can talk about rules, respect, values and proper behaviour until you’re blue in the face if your deeds don’t reflect what you preach.

The same can be said in the workplace for those in management positions. The easiest way to break down morale is for a CEO or person in power to abuse that power and to act contrary to company ethics. What example can they possibly be? How can one judge dishonesty, disrespect or disloyalty if your behaviour smacks of it? It’s just not right. Not at home and not in the workplace.

If it’s a healthy family or company, though, there will be opportunity to address such behaviour without fear of intimidation or rejection. Create this same environment at home and give them a chance to speak respectfully if they have an opinion about something. Open discussion can then determine if their point is valid or not. This will teach them to do the same one day if there’s a problem at work; without fear or reproach or ridicule if they believe their concern is valid and not fret with immature or irrational emotion.

Create a safe place and be consistent

Spontaneous behaviour thrives in a place of safety and nurturing. Create a safe place at home and your child will flourish. Do the same in the workplace and your staff will give you their best. Knowing someone has your back gives you the guts to go that little further, try that little harder and give more than is expected of you.