Lead Your Family Well Failing at Home Is a Mark of Leadership
It concerns me when I see leaders close to me who lead well at work, but seem to be failing at home. Wise leaders resist the seduction of success. They understand the priority they must give their home life, no matter how difficult home life may be.
You are called to lead your family well.
Success at work is seductive. It is gratifying to produce remarkable results from our efforts. It is rewarding to work with an outstanding team of people who draw on one another’s strengths. Leadership success at work can define our self-worth and thus hold hostage the attention we should be giving to other important areas, like our families.
Sometimes, we convince ourselves we will temporarily devote our energies to work in order to attain a certain level of security, then we will work on our marriage or parenting. That strategy usually backfires. We must never put important relationships on cruise control and look away. Our relationships will crash.
Here are two reasons you should be careful when leaders around you are experiencing failure in their personal life.
Failing at Home May Indicate You Don’t Get Leadership
Leading a family has its peculiarities. Leading a marriage or a parenting relationship has a few dimensions that do not exist at work. However as a whole, healthy leadership principles work with any group of people: at home, at work, at church, as well as one-on-one relationships. When I see leaders experiencing failure in their personal lives, it makes me nervous. Of course, they could have ended up in an unfortunate situation beyond their control. But I wonder if they are being intentional to apply what they know to do at work when they get home? Or do they even understand crucial leadership principles in the first place?
Effective leaders at work can be effective leaders at home when they understand the importance of relationship building, healthy communication, setting expectations, controlling emotions, and appropriating value to the people around them. Good leaders set priorities and allocate time and resources appropriately. These principles are powerful anywhere you lead.
Strong leadership requires time and effort. It demands sacrifice and intentional growth. Many times, it even means soliciting help from outside sources. Leadership is about understanding ourselves and the people around us; it is the study of human nature. It is also about organizational structuring and planning. Regardless of the setting, these elements are present and waiting on you and me to implement them.
Failing at Home Will Affect Your Leadership
Failing at home will invariably affect your work quality and leadership. As much as we try to keep them separate, they will spill over eventually. When I know a leader who works with me has a stable home life, I am more encouraged to lean on them and invite them deeper into my team. Why? Because when we go home, we need support. If our personal life is also draining us, we will quickly become depleted. And we are all human, so there is only so much we can take.
Today I want to encourage you to think of your home success as an extension of your overall leadership success. If you are failing at home, seek to grow in wisdom and understanding. The Bible says we must do that. Proverbs 24:3 makes it clear that we must seek wisdom in the area of building our home: “By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established.” And if you are a person of faith, you must invite God into your family. “Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it.” Psalm 127:1
Let us dedicate ourselves to leading our families well.
For Further Reading: