Watching young children at play is, of course, entertaining. For the businessperson, watching young children at play can also be educational. Sometimes kids run amok; they can be aggressive, destructive, and unmanageable yet n other situations they are orderly, polite, and delightful. I don't think the difference has anything to do with the way the planets are aligned. I think the difference is that, in the latter instance, parents and educators have established expectations and boundaries, they have communicated them clearly, and follow up to insure those expectations and boundaries are met. When youngsters know what is expected of them, what they may or may not do, most rise to the challenge. In a broad generalization, when expectations and boundaries have been established the children have an increased ability to learn and communicate, they become more productive and accomplished.
The reason this is educational for the businessperson is that the same holds through in every aspect of managing a business. It's all about expectations and boundaries, communication and follow-through.
If we clearly communicate our expectations and boundaries to vendors, staff, and customers and then follow up with them to insure our expectations and boundaries are met, the business will not descend into chaos. It too will become more productive and accomplished. Quality of the work, customer satisfaction, and morale will be higher. These translate into a happier staff, higher quality of work performance, higher rates of staff and customer retention, and vendors who will bend over backwards to please you.
Now, I'm not suggesting that parents and educators or managers and supervisors should rule their domains like wardens running a prison exercise yard. I'm advocating treating people with respect, understanding, acknowledging their intelligence and humanity. Most will rise to the occasion. If you are experiencing difficulty in managing any aspect of your business where people are involved, before going off on a rampage, first look at the expectations you have communicated and the boundaries you have established and see whether they need to be more clearly defined.