The Most Important Question A Father Can Ask Himself

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. 

Ask yourself:

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”

2 thoughts on “The Most Important Question A Father Can Ask Himself

  1. Well spoken. I made a promise to one, he kept his end up, he’s at pcola, in flight school (Marine), my baby boy. My eldest is a father himself, a Marine Sergeant who is about to be courts-martialed. My heart is heavy and I FEEL his pain. I can only say that because I watched my Father get kicked out after his courts-martial as a child; and serving 20 years myself to include combat, and three tours as a D.I., my heart is just broken. I want to ‘save’ him, but I did that TWICE before and his attitude after helping him was even worse towards me. This time, he’s up for a special, BCD, Brig, loss of 2/3 pay x 8 months, reduction to E-1. Should I accept MORE shame to save him or make him go this alone? I’m very conflicted but at the same time,he wanted to go to Parris Island just like me. If that were to happen, I am absolutely 100 percent without doubt that he would abuse his authority and hurt someone’s child who simply trying to improve himself and do what they feel is right. At that level, Parris Island is unforgiving when drill instructors abused the trust they are given, thank God… I want to see him sexy however not at the expense of someone else’s dignity. What can I possibly do? Please put a couple across my bow, give me a compass heading, something please folks… His arraignment is any day now. Thank you, his Papa.

    • Hey Fletcher,
      Thanks for the feedback and your honesty about your journey through fatherhood. It sounds like you are doing the best you can out there through some difficult challenges. Keep you head up and continue to do the next right thing. Fatherhood is not always easy but my experience tell me to always try and practice the principles I live by. My job is to be the example for my children to see these principles in action. Sometimes our children will navigate a path not to our liking and have to live with the decisions they make as an adult. It’s hard to watch and we often want to “save them,” but everyone has their own learning experiences. I’d love to continue this conversation off line if you’d like. Please feel free to email me at:


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