5 Leadership Lessons Learned From My Gen Z Daughter

5 Leadership Lessons Learned From My Gen Z Daughter

As I celebrate my young adult daughter’s birthday, I can’t help but reflect on all that she has taught me about life and leadership lessons too. Typically parents focus on the impact they have on their children. Yet, I think about the reverse on this “giving birth day.”

Watching Lindsey grow into a compassionate, confident, and accomplished young woman has been an inspiring journey. I am grateful for what she teaches without even knowing it. (I have so much credit to give to my son, too. Those stories will be written next month.)

While it would take hundreds of pages to list all the lessons, here are a bunch that stand out and are easy to do with intention and purpose.


5 Leadership Lessons & Actionable Strategies:

1. Have A Great Sense of Humor and Positive Attitude.

Lindsey is funny and has a contagious laugh, which makes her wonderful to be around. She serves as a role model to laugh at ourselves and support others to find humor even during challenging times. We can all learn from Lindsey about having more fun and taking life less seriously.

Leadership tip: Plan fun activities in the workplace through formal and informal ways. Leverage technology video meetings when needed. Don’t let location get in the way or wait for holidays as a reason to socialize. Use random opportunities to get people talking, sharing experiences, and connecting for non-work reasons too Humor eases tension and brings people together, which leads to retention and better outcomes. Find a “Lindsey” in your life as an accountability partner.

Leadership lessons from my Gen Z daughter by Stacy Sherman

2. Be Curious and Open To Diverse Views

Lindsey appreciates other peoples’ perspectives and actively listens to understand. Throughout her childhood years, her teachers would tell me that she asked great questions in class and cared about learning for growth. While college is ending soon, I believe her learning will accelerate even more. We’re never done getting smarter.

Leadership tip: Establish a workplace culture that offers ongoing education. Encourage diversity of thought and create a safe place for people to ask questions and provide answers without judgment. Invest in employee training especially soft skills, as they are important for personal and professional success.

leadership lessons and community service - Lindsey sherman

3. Be Caring and Empathetic

oLindsey has a natural ability to connect with people and empathize with whatever they are going through. She knows exactly what to say with significant meaning. Her genuine desire to be helpful is beautiful, as well as the time she volunteers at non-profit events to make a difference. Photo of Lindsey is one example in which she went to the Dominican Republic for a community service to help children.

Leadership tip: Put yourself in your colleagues’ shoes and create a supportive environment that empowers people to show up as their best selves.  Ask questions. Listen with empathy and offer authentic advice (when asked for it.) Actions often speak louder than words so show and tell!


4. Never Give Up Even When It’s Reasonable

Lindsey is a true go-getter who doesn’t stop working hard even when she can. As a senior at the University of Delaware, she could do less work and not worry about grades as she has a full-time job ready for her at Gartner Research after graduation. Instead, she’s determined to maintain her admirable grade point average (GPA) because that’s who Lindsey is.

Leadership lesson:  Always do your best. And express appreciation for individual and team members who don’t quietly quit. Recognize and thank people who demonstrate determination and resilience. It goes a long way, as happy employees lead to happy customers. They go hand in hand!

Lindsey Sherman and Gartner Research
Lindsey speaks about leadership at Governors Ball

5. Deliver On Promises

Lindsey keeps her word as a leader of her sorority, as a friend, as a daughter, and in every other hat she wears. When Lindsey says that she’ll do something, it happens without excuses. Her commitment to people and to herself is non-negotiable. I love her integrity! She will find the possibilities even when there seem to be none. 

Leadership lesson: Set clear expectations and communicate with full transparency. People want to do business with and work for brands that intentionally deliver on agreements. If circumstances create delays or there are uncontrollable changes, communicate and explain why so there’s no disappointment. And provide alternative solutions because every no can turn into a yes. Lindsey taught me this too.

In conclusion

I am a very proud Mom and grateful for the leader that my daughter is and who teaches through actions, not just words. I look forward to watching her continue to inspire and influence those around her in the years to come. And I hope that these leadership lessons motivate you to show up as your best self and lead with excellence for the greater good.

Happy birthday my daughter who “I love up to the sky where there’s no more sky. Down to the ground where there’s no more ground.” That’s a lot of love!

Leadership Lessons from  my Gen Z Daughter

If you like this article…

check out Leadership Lessons I Learned From My Mom, one of the first women on Wallstreet. Also, listen to my 50th podcast episode featuring Mom Eileen.