Over the course of my life, I’ve had many leadership roles and led thousands of people, but there is no higher calling of leadership than that of being a father (or mother, but it’s Father’s Day). My hope is that Leader Farming will help redefine the role of leadership in the workplace to be more like leader “fathering.”
In most organizations, the leader assumes the role of making sure everyone gets their job done and makes the company profitable. As long as the leader accomplishes this, they can use any means necessary. While productivity and profits are essential to business, many leaders resort to tactics of fear, force, guilt, and manipulation to get results. These Command and Control leaders create a culture of fear that stifles growth of the individual as well as the organization. I was this type of leader for many years before I was hit by a car and nearly lost my wife a few months later.
In the wake of these two traumatic, life-altering events, I began asking questions like, “Who am I?” and “Why am I here?” Because their pace of life is so fast, many leaders never ask these questions, myself included. But if you were to take a moment to reflect, aren’t these your deepest questions as well?
I struggled with these questions after being hit by the car, but my breakthrough came when my wife nearly died in the hospital after my son was born. I began to ask more specific questions like, “How am I supposed to lead my family?” and “How am I supposed to lead my business?”
In that moment, I realized these two things are the same – they way I lead my family is the way to lead my business. As a father, my role is to provide for my family and protect them. As a leader, I have found that my role is essentially the same, to provide and protect. In my book Leader Farming, I redefine the role of a leader as one who provides for and protects those entrusted to their leadership, maintaining a healthy balance of freedom and discipline. This is what I do as a father and this is what I do as the leader of my business. Happy Fathers Day!