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Career Compass

Career Compassis a monthly column from ICMA focused on career issues for local government professional staff.  It is written by Dr. Frank Benest, ICMA's senior advisor for Next Generation Initiatives. If you have a career question you would like addressed in a future Career Compass, e-mail or contact Frank directly at

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Nov 27

Career Compass No. 35: Leadership Lessons from My Teenage Daughter

Posted on November 27, 2013 at 12:18 PM by Amber Ahlo

In this issue of Career Compass, Dr. Benest shares some leadership lessons learned from parenting a teen.

I am writing a different kind of Career Compass column today. I have a 15-year-old daughter, Leila, who is the love of my life but she and I are struggling as we navigate her teen years. Leila tends to ignore my advice and regularly informs me that “I don’t get it.” I’m trying to learn from some of our more contentious interactions and reflect on how I can better exert positive influence. After one of our recent disagreements, it occurred to me that there are some basic leadership lessons that Leila is teaching me and that might be worth sharing.