Monday, February 4, 2013

Leadership Lessons Learned by Fatherhood

I'm sure many of you dads can attest, there is no training program that quite prepares you for fatherhood. Most of us aren't born with the innate ability to be nurturers or the ability to be sensitive, caring or compassionate. As men, we're taught to be rough and tough and not show our emotions. I'll speak for myself on this one. I don't have the ability to multitask like my wife. She could make a bottle, change a pamper while helping another kid with one of our boy's school project. But over time, I believe most of us learn how to perform most of these skills if not some fairly well.

And for some of you fathers who have girls, you had to learn and take your fatherhood abilities to a whole new level. From what I hear, you can't discipline and interact with girls quite the same you as you would boys. I believe God knows what type of children to give to certain fathers. I believe that's why God gave me two boys.

Fatherhood and Leadership Changes over Time

My boys are two and half years a part. They brought a lot of joy, fun and interesting moments. Boys are like a rocket ship with plenty of fuel and speed but no wings. They have lots of energy and enthusiasm but they don't know how, when and where to channel that energy. For the most part, it was pretty easy when they were young. All they wanted was ALL of my time and ALL of my energy. As a father, I gave them all I had. Piggy back rides. Bicycle rides. Football. Baseball. Basketball. Soccer. And oh, practices to these activities. Sometimes, all they wanted were trips to the park and rides around town. It was simple then.

Then the teenage years. Came faster than we thought they would. One day we're walking them to the bus for preschool and now both are in high school. Raising kids is a lot different. Now they don't want any of your time. They don't want to have anything to do with you. You have to force family events. Adolescence is where your fatherhood ability and leadership ability is put to the test. What worked before age 12 doesn't necessarily work. Now they want to challenge your authorities. I believe the teenage years is where I made my most mistakes and learned the most about leadership and fatherhood. And I'm still learning. Of all the lessons I learned, here are the most important:
  • Have to change your leadership strategy approach as your family or (Organization Changes)
  • Cannot treat everyone the same. Different personalities and different people are motivated differently
  • Must learn to compromise. Fathers aren't always right. 
  • Learn to actively lesson. Instead of preparing a defense or rebuttal. Actually listen to what is being said.
  • Communicate exactly what you mean. Don't assume the person knows what  you mean. Even if you think people know how you feel, say it anyway.
  • Pay close attention to the small things. A lot of small of things turn into large things. 
  • You don't control as much as you think you do. As children grow older, we have to use our influence more instead of force.
  • Must learn to stand and endure the tough times. 
  • Must learn to create and stick to a budget. Money is the number one reason for stress and divorce
  • Most learn how to deal with the unexpected. The only constant is change. Must learn how to deal with accidents with the kids, money issues, medical issues, etc. 
  • Spend quality time with your family. The best way to show them you care
  • It's ok to fail. Share your failures with your kids and it's ok to let your kids fail. 
Fatherhood like leadership is a tough job. You have to be willing learn and adapt. And the hardest part is that there is no written instructions or manager trainee program. You pretty much learn on the fly. However, you don't have do it alone. It's always good to have family, friends and neighbors to help.

I hope you enjoyed this blog and find it helpful. Send me some feedback and comments. Also, you can email me at I also have a facebook and twitter account.

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