Monday, March 26, 2012

Family Leadership

"Leadership can be thought of as a capacity to define oneself to others that clarifies and expands a vision of the future."    

- Edwin H. Friedman

Being an effective leader requires having a vision and being highly transparent about it.   This is also true for husbands, fathers, and leaders of the family.  Understanding that people will not follow you unless they believe in your vision and understand where you are going, you must ask if you have thought this through; have you have intentionally planned out your path?  Andy Hargreaves, an internationally reknowned writer, researcher, consultant and author, says this: "Be relentless about your purposes..."  We need to focus on the clear path, making sure people understand where we are going and what our purpose is before we can expect them to trust us and follow.

Baseball is a simple enough analogy to understand. There is only one end goal in mind - winning. Whether its one game or the pennant or the World Series title, that is why a player plays the game. Certainly, players love the game itself; passion motivates people to want to do well; the spirit of competition inspires athletes to want to play hard and to win. But the vision and the mission is clear: win baseball games.

What is true, then, of leaders? What is true of husbands, of fathers, of dads, of mentors and coaches? For these people, having a clear focus is critically important. And yet it is something that is sometimes overlooked. Especially in places like the home. I have to ask myself as a husband and a father, if I have a clear vision for how I want to lead in my marriage, how I want to lead as a father, as a daddy; what morals and values do I want my children to have?  Have I intentionally worked on this?  Do my children know what I stand for?
If I say that family comes first, do I have a clear vision for my family? What message am I sending if, after a long day at school, I come home and lounge in front of the television for the next four hours until bed?
Doug Reeves said you should have a vision so clear that someone from another country, though they may not speak your language, would know what it is.  Although this was a keynote delivered to school leaders, family leaders need to apply this in the home as well.  Dream big in whatever areas of your life you lead.  Nothing happens in leadership without dreams (Reeves).