Leading Blog






06.15.06

Fathers: Raise A Generation of Outstanding Leaders

Fathers Raise A Generation of Outstanding Leaders

THE National Fatherhood Initiative has found that 24-million American children (over a third of all kids in the U.S.) live in homes without their biological father.

Additionally, the absence of a dad from so many homes plays a direct role in a number of social ills. Kids in father-deprived homes are more likely to be abused, poor, prone to drug abuse, prone to poor scholastic achievement, and prone to emotional and behavior problems including suicide and crime.

A study if violent criminals in U.S. prisons showed that prison populations are overwhelmingly made up of males who grew up without fathers. 60% of convicted rapists, 72% of adolescent murderers, and 70% of all long-term prison inmates came from fatherless homes.

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Pat Williams, senior vice president of the Orlando Magic and author of The Warrior Within, writes, “I believe we should all reprogram our thinking about what ‘fatherhood’ really means. Instead of defining a father as ‘a man who procreates,’ we would instead say, ‘a father is a man who loves, nurtures, trains, mentors, teaches, disciplines, affirms, cares for, and provides for a child, regardless of whether or not he is genetically connected to that child.’”

Pat Williams has been going about the country for years stressing the need for fathers and their role in raising leaders. He insists that no child is too young to begin to develop traits that will serve to help them become outstanding leaders. He writes:
Kids want to lead. They enjoy setting goals and then taking the steps to achieve those goals. When do kids become bored? When they feel they are being forced to do something they don’t care about. When do they rebel? When they feel they are being told what to do and how to do it. But give them a chance to lead, give them the opportunity and responsibility to make their own decisions, and they will astonish you with their ability to get things done.

So the next time a young person asks you how to become a leader, just say, “If you want to be a leader, be a servant! Find a lawn that needs mowing and mow it—for free. Find a house that needs painting and paint it. Clean your room, load the dishwasher, set the table, wash the car. If you see a mess, clean it up—even if it’s not your mess. Pull weeds in your neighbor’s flowerbed. Go to Starbucks or a rock show and share your faith with someone. If you want to be a leader, be a servant.
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Williams authors, from his experience rearing 19 children with his wife, a book that is full of practical advice and examples of dealing with day to day issues. Just one more. Williams encourages, “Stop trying to force your kid to do this or that. You can’t control his or her choices. But you can control your actions. And you can make your kid wish he or she had chosen more wisely.”

You can read an excerpt of The Warrior Within. He is also the author of Coaching Your Kids to Be Leaders.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 12:24 PM
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