Do you know how to become a great leader? During an annual conference one year, the company I work for talked about leadership and asked this exact question. The first thing I thought was “Oh great! This will be fun!” Actually, it was much more interesting than I thought it would be. Keep reading. I’ll explain.
Through the many speakers, there were a few that said something that really stuck. One of those speakers told a story about a tough and demanding job they had in the armed services, and how he was never recognized for his hard work. Rather, he was scrutinized and given a hard time. Finally, another officer of higher rank stepped in during one of the scrutiny sessions and stood up for him. This officer told the other officer the following:
As a leader, you have the responsibility and obligation to mentor those under you. This means that when they do something wrong, you teach and guide them in the right direction to ensure they grow stronger and become a leader as well.
You see, the reason I am telling you this story is because your kids are the ones that are following you. They are learning from many different sources. As a parent, you have the responsibility and obligation to direct them in the right direction. You need to be their leader. Do you know how to become a great leader?
Now don’t get me wrong. I have 5 children. I know exactly how rough life can get and how frustrating it can become trying to teach and guide your kids (I will also admit that I need to improve on this area at times). However, you have to always remember that if you don’t teach them, who are they going to learn from? Is that source going to teach them the values you want to instill on your kids?
What kinds of leadership values do you want to impart to your kids? During the annual conference we talked about leading from the front, treating people with respect and dignity, taking care of your people so they take care of you, and other factors.
I write this article because my kids are my life. I want them to grow up to have great jobs, great friends, and an overall great life. I try to live by the philosophy of being a great mentor for my kids will ensure they will be a great mentor and leader as they grow. However, I have seen too many times where a child is ignored because their parent is too busy on a computer, tablet, or phone doing something on Facebook or something else. Hell, I’ve done it too! I’m not happy that I did, but I did. The thing is, I have a very strong support system at home. When I do something wrong like this, my wife helps remind me that I need to be a father and at that point in time, I should have helped them, not ignored them which is exactly what this article is all about.
I know as a single parent or families without a strong support structure like mine, it will be harder to realize at that point in time that you are not being a strong leader. I get it, but when you do realize you have done something to wrong your kids. Apologize. This is what you teach them to do. Right? So teach by example. Be a great leader to them. Be a parent! This way, they can grow to become a great leader for many others in the future too!