OK, guys, we’ve all seen them. You know, those posts on social media that you hope your wife, kids or your girlfriend never see.
How about the impossibly cute way that a guy proposes to his bride-to-be? Thank you so much, Pinterest, for setting expectations way too high. Don’t they know that most guys don’t even look at Pinterest?
By the way, I feel so bad for the guys in high school these days. You can’t even ask a girl out to Homecoming without baking a dozen cookies, or getting donuts. Son, you had better show up with at least a poster using the wrappers of candy bars as words in the question (with the candy bars inside, of course), or she won’t even listen to you.
And then, at the bottom of these (usually self-congratulatory) posts, there’s often this hashtag: #Relationshipgoals.
When my daughter and her close friends do something cool together, they take a selfie (usually several selfies) followed by the hashtag #Squadgoals.
What about that dad who built the amazing Ninja course in his backyard for his daughter? I bet that #Dadgoals has appeared somewhere on social media in association with that video.
So, after seeing these posts and swallowing my daily dose of inadequacy, a different hashtag comes to mind: #Leadershipgoals. What are the goals I’m setting today for my own family?
Andy Andrews, one of the country’s top speakers on leadership, said on a recent Dynamic Communicators podcast that, with respect to parenting, our goal should not be to raise great kids, but to raise kids who become great adults. Excellent advice. Andy’s kids still live at home, but his words certainly apply to our adult children as well.
In short, empty-nester parents must decide: What is the desired end product of your parenting today – and yes, you are still parenting, every day – even though your children don’t hear from you or see you daily?
Those of you who have young adult children can testify to the change that occurs when they leave home. Especially the dads. I still love my children, but these days, I have to lead them more than ever before. Advising, consulting, counseling, encouraging. As I’ve written before, a person who “leads” with the sole goal of completing a task isn’t leading. Leading adult children this way might ensure that they don’t get evicted or the power stays on, but it doesn’t help them move forward in life.
The effective father ensures that his kids are trained and educated on how to complete real world tasks without him. A dad who cares will make sure his kids know the right contacts they’ll need to get things done without him. And after preparing his kids, he’ll then allow them to grow by letting them perform adult-level tasks on their own, without him.
Sound a lot like a good business leader? I certainly think so. Yes, a “leader” may exhibit excellence, competence, or even brilliance in manipulating his business team to or achieve a challenging objective. But if those he leads aren’t better people for his “leadership,” then he’s not an effective leader.
So, what is my top #Leadershipgoal with my kids? Leading myself out of a job. My number 2 #Leadershipgoal? Watching with satisfaction as my kids soar.