Curious Children On Father’s Day

Influential leadership writer and former CEO Max De Pree in his book Leadership Jazz suggests that followers want to know not only what kind of leader will be leading them, but how will that leader lead. He proposes that followers have a right to ask 8 challenging questions of their leaders.

  • What may I expect of you?
  • Can I achieve my own goals by following you?
  • Will I reach my potential by working with you?
  • Can I trust my future with you?
  • Have you bothered to prepare yourself for leadership?
  • Are you ready to be ruthlessly honest?
  • Do you have the self-confidence and trust to let me do my job?
  • What do you believe?

Fathers as leaders of our families have you ever thought how you would respond if your children asked you similar questions. Can you imagine having to answer questions like:

  • What do you believe in Dad?
  • What did you do to prepare yourself to be a father?
  • What can I expect of you as a father?
  • How will you help me to reach my potential?
  • Can I trust my future with you?
  • Do you have confidence in me and trust me?

These are some pretty challenging and thought provoking questions. I suspect even the most seasoned and invested fathers would have a tough time to honestly and openly answer these questions. Yes, you may feel uncomfortable and you may fear how your children will react to your responses. But why not take the risk and allow your children to ask you. Or even better yet why don’t you take the initiative and discuss these important questions with your children.

Taking the time to answer would signal your children that you are willing to be open and vulnerable. It is worth the risk and would in fact enhance your relationship with your children. Even proposing that you want to get some feedback will go a long way to strengthening your connection with them.

Try giving the questions to your children and schedule some time with them to honestly share your answers. How about today on Father’s Day? If you and your children take up the challenge thank them for their investment and thank yourself for investing in them. Who knows, their response to your responses may surprise you.

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