RL Practice of the Month

Constantly doing too much at work or home? Make a change in 2020.

The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. Really?

Fact:he nugget of folk wisdom contained in this familiar saying may seem quaint to the point of being more myth than fact. But there is an accumulating—and by now conclusive—body of research that has documented the extent to which both “nature and nurture” conspire to shape the person we are. We “inherit” both our strengths and our vulnerabilities from a combination of genetics and epigenetics, from our DNA and from environmental factors such as the emotional patterns passed down to us across multiple generations of our family tree.


Awareness is the essential starting point for improving how you show up as a leader. Grow your self-awareness (by personal observation and from conversations with family members) of the automatic, inherited family patterns that drive how you interact as a leader at home and at work.

Try It:

After self-awareness comes self-regulation. Since we just began a new year and decade it may be time to reach out in a different direction. Here is an idea. Select one of your trusted colleagues, friends, or relatives to explore three questions.

  • What behaviors do you see in me that tend to get in my way of being my best self?
  • When was the last time or two that you noticed one of these behaviors and what was the impact on me or others?
  • What suggestions for a better approach come to mind?
  • See if you can connect these behaviors to family patterns or vulnerabilities that you may have inherited or been shaped by in your family of origin. Put a plan in place to deepen your self-awareness and self-regulation of the behaviors that matter most to you.