The topic of raising children is also of great interest in business, as all managers with kids do their best to become professionals in this field. It is important for every parent to help their child succeed, and there is a significant amount of literature available for this. However, there are few useful, modern methodologies in the world that that can be successfully applied in practice. And it is completely unique that a publication about parenting builds on a methodology that has already been proven in the development of business, sport, and education. We spoke with Miklós Palencsár, the author of DiamondDoughKid, about the publication of his latest book.
This is your fourth book, but your other books dealt more directly with business life. Why did you choose this topic?
This topic chose me if I think about it. As a business mentor, I have dealt with personality development for twenty-one years, so the book’s foundations hit very close to home. On the other hand, it is true that the focus of my publications so far has been on business success, getting to the top in sports, or just the business aspects of developing education. However, childhood was a theme in each of those areas. It also comes from the fact that for my oldest mentoring relationships, our methods of raising children have been available for the mentees for 15 years, so it was only a matter before we put this experience into writing.
But it is strange that someone people consider so serious and decisive—and often raw—when that businessman writes about children. Don’t you think so?
I have prepared thousands of managers and elite athletes for success in my career so far. Every development demonstrated, and it is also a basic premise in psychology, that problems stemming from childhood are very difficult to manage as adults. In all leadership trainings, individual mentorships, organisational development projects, and team developments, “our childhoods hover over our heads” and have a serious impact on a participant’s decisions, as well as their development results, which consequently impact their success and happiness. It is very difficult for a 40-/50-/60-year-old manager to face the fact that he may have chosen a completely wrong career, he would need a drastic change, but due to his age, he would only be able to make the switch with great sacrifices. That’s why we started to take the relationship between childhood and personality seriously, at the system level. We wanted to identify the points where an individual could be prevented from embarking on a path that was not meant for them. Yes, I represent the facts quite definitively, I don’t like to beat around the bush, which is also why I am successful as a business developer. If someone trusts me and entrusts me with their company and their team, it is a serious responsibility that can only be fulfilled if I act honestly and decisively in favour of development. You need to find the motivational elements in the given person, team, or company to influence them and develop them. There is a time when beautiful words are effective, there is a time for nagging, and there is a time when hard action required. But at the end of the day, I am held accountable for the confidence they placed in me, and the results. Those who know me will not be disappointed either, as when it comes to the fate of children, I act even more decisively, which can also be seen in the style of the book.
I understand the choice of topic. But as a business mentor, as an economist, you are talking about raising children, which is a very specific, specialised field.
Yes. I am the first to reject someone who talks about things they don’t understand. In addition, in the case of child-rearing, in addition to the relevant psychology, we must apply social research data, generational research data, real childhood experiences, and parental reports. No one person has this entire knowledge set. I wrote the book, but the knowledge was provided to me by the RISE development team and parents who raised/are raising their children with this methodology. Fifteen years ago, we analysed the first child using the RISE system with one of my favourite private mentoring partners. Since then, we have tracked the fate of 1,043 children, summarising the experiences of 103,088 related life events evaluated on the basis of parental reports. I wrote the book based on this data.
I have to ask the obvious: why is it titled DiamondDoughKid?
The book is about raising a child so that they do not lose their personality. They don’t have to go through a serious personality change, the don’t need to add new personality traits just to meet the expectations of parents, teachers, coaches, and society. It’s a message for adults to let a child live consistent with their personality, even if it sometimes doesn’t fit best with the particular environment, and even if it sometimes causes them discomfort or annoyance, as that’s the only way they can become a truly successful, happy adult. That is, if we want to see our children shine like diamonds as adults, we should not try to mould them like playdough. We can’t get both at the same time. They can’t be our DiamondDoughKids.
What success do you expect from the book? Your books about business and sport have become a must-read for businesspeople and sports professionals. What do you expect from DiamondDoughKid? What is your expectation based on pre-publication reviews?
Before they are published, I send all my books to an international circle of professionals and friends who are important to me. It was very interesting to see how much interest the first few pages generated. In any case, there is a good batch of pre-orders already, so the reception has been quite positive. Those who really know me know that no matter how purposeful and determined I am, I am an idealist when it comes to children. I expect the book to be read and understood by as many parents as possible, and for them to apply the methodology and raise successful and happy children who will not wake up as middle-aged people that realise that their lives are unsuccessful, otherwise unhappy, and who cannot see the way out from the situation.
But as a businessman, I think you also need specific benchmarks, no?
Yes. Twenty years from now, if I encounter fewer unsuccessful, or just seemingly successful but unhappy, managers. Then I can say that I did something for a better future.
Then I wish you success with your book! Thank you for the conversation!