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Yesterday, I saw the movie “Courageous.” It is a compelling story that challenges men to be the leaders of their homes—to be the spiritual and moral leader for their wife and children. There is ample evidence that homes without male leadership are a significant contributor to crime, drug use, pregnancy, and suicide among teenagers. This movie is a clarion call for men to take responsibility and establish a new legacy of moral and biblical leadership for the next generation.
The movie challenged me in many ways and I’ve been rather introspective about my effectiveness as the leader of my home. In the coming weeks, I plan to meet with other men at my church so that we can encourage one another in this critical role. The movie has also challenged me to think carefully about the intersection of organizational leadership and leadership in the home.
Frankly, I have no answers and a lot of questions:
How does what I know about leading a company apply to leading the home? Do concepts of values, mission, and vision apply? If so, do they apply in the same way—do they mean the same thing in both contexts?
What about human motivation? Do principles of reward, recognition, empowerment, and engagement work the same in the family room or garage as the do at the office? Can what we know about developing people be used to help my kids grow into their full potential?
Can I apply concepts of strategy from the world of work at home? Do ideas such as stakeholders, competitive environment, and resource allocation have a place in the family lexicon?
I could go on and on.
My initial reaction to these questions is that leading in the home is significantly different than leading an organization. While there are similarities because people are the common denominator in both settings, implementation of these ideas is different in the home. Yet, here is the great paradox in all of this: I also believe that a leader’s success or failure in the home significantly enhances or limits his leadership success or failure in the organization.