L.E.A.P Think

Reflections on taking Joseph to #SQLSat121 Philadelphia

This blog covers leadership and entrepreneurism. What better place to start than in the home? My kids are 11 and 9. They have plenty of time to decide what they want to do when they grow up but I don’t think it’s too early to begin preparing them to make decisions and to have a better sense of awareness about options that exist for ‘making money and paying bills’ in the real world . No one spent much time with me on these topics when I was young. I turned out ok, but in hindsight I wish I had mentors, including my parents who shared this sort of wisdom with me at a younger age.

I’ve had my own company since Emily and Joseph have been alive and work from home a lot. I’ve heard my kids say things like ‘my daddy does email’ when asked ‘what does your dad ‘do’? I realize that they don’t know a heck of a lot about what I do to make money. I was inspired to experiment with taking my kids to conferences and similar events by Tom LaRock (@SQLRockstar) when he took his daughter to a SQLInspire even in New York last fall. #SQLSaturday121 in Philly was the first chance I had.

It was a great trip. I don’t think that Joseph learned a lot about SQL Server. I do think he’ll remember the trip for an awfully long time. Joseph got to practice to talking to grown-ups which sometimes  makes him shy. He was very impressed when he learned that the computers with the flashing lights at the Malvern MTC (http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/mtc/locations/philadelphia.aspx) probably cost more than everything we own. We played laser tag and glow in the dark mini-golf. No, that wasn’t part of the conference but there is only so much of a Fri night speaker dinner that a 9 year old can stand before it becomes torture.  We had a blast at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia and it should not come as a surprise that his favorite part of the trip was playing Xbox. Thanks to Mark Kromer (@mssqldude) for hooking us up. I think Joseph really enjoyed me including him in the trip. It made him feel special and even if I remember the trip longer than Joseph the trip was a wonderful experience for us to share. The bonding was much more valuable for both of us than any discrete thing that either of us learned.

I tell people that I enjoy helping to develop the next generation of leaders. I’ve decided to start with my kids. Thinking about professional development for children seems a bit weird. But if you think about it; we spend most of our lives working. I’m sure you’ll spend time talking to your kids about the people they should date, the games they should play, and their homework. Shouldn’t we spend time talking to them about ‘work’ since for better or worse that will make up a tremendous part of their life?

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