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”