We had a lot of fun in our interview with Christopher Lewis of Dads of Divas. To see the Dads In The Limelight interview, check it out here:
If you’re taking the time to read my blog, you most likely want to become a better father and leader. You want to grow. You want to be a father that is more connected, present and successful. Today’s father wants to be successful in their career as well as a successful parent.
It all comes back to leadership. Fatherhood is leadership and leadership is influence—nothing more, nothing less.
Increasing your influence means improving your leadership skills as a father. As a father, I need to ask myself tough questions on a regular basis. One of those questions relates to my motives as a leader. In my work with fathers we first look at what they were taught about fatherhood and manhood growing up. We work on identifying the major influencers on their view of fatherhood.
Most fathers agree that they never received a “book” on how to be a good father. In reality, our influencers growing up was our “book.” We watched our fathers, other people’s fathers and sometimes the media define what fatherhood meant to us. The same questions apply to today’s leader. Who are your biggest influencers and mentors? What “book of leadership” do you adhere to? It’s important to take a look at your values and qualities as a leader and how it translates as a father. These are the values that you will instill in your children.
The most important question a father can ask himself is:
What kind of leader do you want to be?
A fathers leadership style directly influences the development of his children. It’s important to take a look at the relationship you are developing with your children and how you are leading.
Do you take time to listen to your child’s goals, dreams, and vision for their life?
Are you a father that tries to develop leadership qualities in your child so the can be their own leader?
Do you laugh, joke around and show your children the joy in life?
Do you allow your children to make their own mistakes and learn from them?
Are most of your conversations around cleaning rooms, taking out garbage and doing homework?
Do you find yourself yelling more than modeling the values you want to instill?
Are you a “do as I say, not as I do” kind of leader?
Don’t get me wrong, having chores is important. But is that how you want to spend most of your time communicating? There is so much more to developing young people and ways to instill responsibility. Take time to look at how you are leading and spending your time with your children.
Good leaders are life long learners, always looking for ways to improve. Same applies to fatherhood. If you want to improve your parenting skills you have to work at it.
Developing a relationship with your child based on leadership values are vital to developing our future leaders. In order to motivate others and instill values, fathers need to check their motives.
What motivates you as a leader?
As a leader and father, it’s important to question your motives often, because the temptation to lead strictly by authority is strong. Why? Because the easy default to questions from our children is the age old “because I’m your father” or “because I said so.” But what message does that send? Is that leadership?
The “do as I say and not as I do” leadership is outdated and ineffective. Fatherhood like leadership is influence, not your title or position. The best leaders/fathers lead by example.
So, fathers ask yourself…What kind of leader do you want to be?
“Before you become a father, success is about growing yourself. When you become a father, success is all about growing others”
Fatherhood is a huge responsibility with the greatest of rewards. As a father of three beautiful children and someone who works with fathers, I see the magic of fatherhood on a daily basis. I’ve come to realize that:
Fatherhood is leadership!
It is one of the highest forms of leadership. And just like leadership, fatherhood is not about a title or position. Fatherhood is an action and example of how one life can influence another.
Here are 5 of my favorite leadership quotes as it applies to fatherhood:
1. “Become the type of father that your children will follow voluntarily, even if you had no title or authority”
2. “Before you become a father, success is about growing yourself. When you become a father, success is all about growing others”
3. “A father will take his children where they want to go. A great father will take his children where they don’t necessarily want to go, but need to be”
4. “Great fathers are almost always great simplifiers who can cut through argument, debate, and doubt to offer a solution everybody can understand”
5. “Fathers inspire their children to dream more, learn more, do more and become more”
What does it mean to you?
Is this Clorox ad offensive to you?
Well, it was for many fathers across the U.S.
In the last couple of years fathers have worked to remove the negative depictions of dads in the media. Commercials and TV shows have historically portrayed fathers as inept parents, buffoonish or just plain dump. There efforts have forced Clorox to remove the ad seen above and Huggies to take down and remake this Commercial.
So, it was a breath of fresh air to see the recent Peanut Butter Cheerios commercial below that portrayed fathers in a much more positive light. The commercial highlighted a fathers role and gave a small glimpse of the importance of his presence and contribution.
Great job General Mills!
Have you ever found yourself trying to perform an impossible juggling act between your work-life and home-life?
Ever spent your entire work day at the “top of your game,” only to be too tired to play games with your children when you get home?
Have you ever wondered how the person that seems to have it all is able to get work done, yet still have time for his family?
As a father of three wonderful children, I have also struggled with these same questions over the years. Continue reading “Work-Life Balance-7 Tips For The Productive Father”
Last week, at the end of a long day, my 12-year-old son turned to me and said the words that every father longs to hear:
“Dad, thanks; this was the greatest day of my life.”
You could only imagine the emotions I felt that day; feelings that could only be described as overwhelming happiness, validation, joy and love. All parents know that you may go a lifetime and not hear those words, so to hear them come from my son’s lips was a special moment. We had just left the NBA Draft in Brooklyn NY on the way back home to Queens and had a great night all around. Continue reading ““Dad This Was The Greatest Day Of My Life” 7 Tips On How To Have An Epic Day With Your Child”
Fatherhood! So I’m working on 3 hours of sleep, during which I was restless 8x. Well at least that’s what my Fitbit is telling me.
My 3 1/2 year old, who decided to sleep in the bed with me last night, woke up in the middle of the night and started running in place on the bed. Only because of years of parenting under my belt did I recognize this form of non verbal communication as an opportunity to ask “do you need to go to the bathroom?” He quietly answered yes, I patiently escorted him to the bathroom and we returned to bed. Continue reading “What Fatherhood Taught Me About Leadership”
It is impossible to define fatherhood in one picture, definition or example. You have various degrees of father involvement and engagement. You have some fathers who live with their children and some who live outside the home. Some fathers are married, some divorced and some who have never been married to the child’s mother. In addition, you may have step fathers, adoptive fathers, and foster fathers; all of whom play a role in child rearing. With the diversity of the fatherhood role it is important to look at the ways that father engagement plays in positive outcomes in children.