Words of Hope: Self-Responsible Leadership

Dad loved parenting, and he was a fantastic Dad. He and Mom taught Shann and me so much about the daily habits of being a meaningful parent. Dad always began with the big plan, then created systems and practices to achieve the big goal. Shann was talking with a parent who has kids who have significantly struggled. This parent’s parenting philosophy is fatalistic. He believes parenting is a matter of chance— you get what the cards deal you. He thinks some kids are just “bad apples,” and there is nothing that can be done. 

Dad believed and taught us differently. He thought parenting was like sowing and reaping. The daily in-and-out choices of intentional parenting accrue over time. Dad started with himself. He believed his tendencies and shortcomings greatly influenced his relationship with Jay and me. Dad continually asked me what he could do to be a better dad, and he worked hard to address anything I said that was a frustration. I bless Dad for this daily practice. At NBC, we not only use this skill as parents in our own homes, but we also apply this practice to the workplace. Instead of having surveys that voice what is frustrating us as team members, we ask, “What do I do that consistently frustrates the team.” This ability to name and acknowledge how we consciously or unconsciously frustrate others consistently is crucial to pinpoint and eliminate. I am working on not frustrating those around me by shifting ideas mid-flow or looking at my phone during a meaningful conversation – a conversation, ironically, I most likely initiated! This discipline to plant new habits of being present and staying on the topic at work are surprisingly similar to what my family asks me to improve at home. The will to ask and explore how I frustrate others in relationships and the discipline to change came directly from a loving role model and an incredible father.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3