Not just for Dads

Intentional Influence – Thoughts for Leaders and Fathers…and anyone who knows some!

Archive for the month “April, 2012”

Affirmation Encourages Dedication

This past March I spent two weeks at a leadership course ( The course was definately worth every minute I spent there, for various reasons. But the thing that stood out to me most was the atmosphere in which everything at that course was done. It was an atmosphere of affirmation. An atmosphere of encouraging people, rather than criticising them; of telling people what they did well, rather than what they did wrong. Of cheering eachother on, rather than beating eachother down.

The culture I live and grew up in isn’t very good at this. I am not very good at this. Maybe that is why it meant so much to me. Maybe that is why it meant so much to everyone at that course.

I believe we all long for affirmation to some degree. We want to hear that we did well. That we are appreciated. That we mean something to someone.

“Well done, my good and faithful servant.” Don’t these words sound great?

And yet we often forget to give to others, what we so desperately want to recieve from them. And that can be dangerous…

Most people would prefer to go on holiday to a place where the sun is shining, compared to a place where the weather is miserable. Is it difficult to understand then, that we are naturally drawn to people who will give us a warm smile and a simple thank you, rather than to someone who complains and criticizes what we do, when we do it and the way we do it.

As a Father it is my responsibility to affirm my son. As a husband, I am called to encourage my wife. As a leader I should be the first person to thank the people around me and build them up with my words.

If I don’t…who will?

If I don’t… someone else probably will.

And then my team might follow someone else. My son might look up to a stranger. And my wife might turn her head to another.

Can I blame them?

It’s up to me. Affirmation encourages dedication!

I’d rather build a boy, than mend a man…

…I read this quote on the wall of a youth prison for boys a few years ago. It has stuck with me ever since. It has got me thinking… Thinking about boys that will become men, men that will someday be leaders, leaders that will – in some way or another – influence others.

That is exciting to me:

  • I love when people grow: boys becoming men.
  • I love when people learn and mature: men becoming leaders.
  • I love when people make a difference: leaders being influencers.

But at the same time it is scary!

  • What if the boys don’t become the men they are meant to be?
  • What if the men start leading the wrong direction?
  • What if leaders are being a bad influence?

Look around the world we live in. There are plenty of examples around. Sad examples. Disturbing examples.

But there are also plenty of good examples. GREAT examples. I have seen them. I have heard them. I have experienced them. And these great examples keep me going. These great examples get me excited!

They get me excited about what is possible when you build a boy…teach a dad…or train a leader!

I want to be a part of that!

What about you? Does this get you excited? Do you have stories to share? I’d love to hear from you!

Post Navigation