Too many families are placed on the altar of sacrifice so that we can seek professional success. We believe that performance at the highest level has a cost, and that perception devalues our families. As we seek to be great leaders in the workplace, we make excuses for the lack of quantity time we spend leading our spouses and our children.
The true measure of person’s leadership can be found in how they lead their family. It is impossible to be the very best leader you can be if you’re struggling to positively influence and guide your home. Leadership does not have an on/off switch. Inconsistency is not a characteristic of a great leader; therefore as a leader, you can’t leave your leadership at the door when you leave work.
The same leadership principles that apply in your career should and do apply at home. Here are just a few to consider:
- Are you being intentional? When you’re home are you intentionally spending time with your spouse and children?
- Similarly, are you present? Do you turn your smart phone off and leave work at work, or do you continuously check your email and text messages because you believe the world will stop and all the progress of industry and society will fail without you. The reality is, your family will fail without you.
- Are you innovative? Outside of the business place, this is called imagination. Do you play with your children? When’s the last time you took a pirate adventure with your son or sat in the floor with a dozen stuffed animals listening to the instruction of your daughter “teach?”
For many, this last question is too late. There is no more playtime. Children have grown and all those years have been lost. For others, let this be a wakeup call that your children need your leadership and influence.
Do you settle for a half-life or are you ensuring that it is balanced and full? Has your family become victim to achieving success?
It is impossible to create a family legacy if you don’t lead your family.