When describing what it is that I have set out to do with Torch Family Leadership the first thing out of my mouth is that I want to help men become “more caring, confident and capable family leaders”. It’s not lost on me that many men will read that and say to themselves “I AM caring, I AM confident and I AM capable” and they may be exactly right…which is awesome!! That’s why I always say “more” because I know so many amazing men that are doing great jobs already…but I also know that even those guys need some help from time to time. So I wanted to take a few minutes to clarify what “more caring, confident and capable” means to me because my passion is to empower and strengthen men, not to insult them.
When I say that I want to help men be more caring I am referring to more than just the raw emotion of giving a damn. I’m speaking more to the “how” we give that damn rather than the “if” we do. I assume that most men that are present in their marriages and in their children’s lives genuinely care about their wives and children but that doesn’t necessarily mean that we are caring in nature. In other words, we could be doing a whole lot of caring internally and maybe even with our actions and yet that still be a mystery to our families. Caring means more than your feelings…it means that not only do you care about others but you also care about what others care about.
There is a fine line when it comes to parenting and family leadership because you have to have foresight and sometimes caring for the future is a thankless, albeit a very necessary job. We have to learn to balance the present with the future and the present means that you need to be in tune with your family’s wants, needs and what they care about. The future means that this is an ongoing process because your kids will change quickly through the years. If you fail to make time to understand and know your family then how could you ever care for them completely?
a few quick ways to up your care game would be…..
- Don’t keep your love a secret. As men we think some things are obvious but the truth is that is not always the case. Your wife and children need to hear the words come out of your mouth…often.
- Ask questions and listen to the answers. You can learn so much about your wife and/or children just by asking simple questions. We have a few rituals at dinner time at our house and one that we all love is “What was your favorite part of the day?” or “What 3 things are you thankful for today?” The kids, ranging in age from 6-16 love it and look forward to it…and so do I because it gives me a glimpse of what they care about so I can better care for them.
Merriam Webster defines confident as “full of conviction”. I love that! I didn’t know that was the definition when I started saying it but man, when I read that it struck a chord in me. I have very strong convictions about leading my family as best I can. It leads me to seek out information to be constantly learning and growing which in turn builds my confidence. When we reframe our paradigms we can see failures and inadequacies as opportunities to learn and do better. If I’m always seeking to improve then I don’t have time to dwell on failures, I just have time to turn them into learning experiences for future successes.
I truly believe that the key to true humility is confidence…which might fly in the face of tradition but hear me out. If you become confident in your strengths and you’re continually working on your weaknesses then you don’t have to hide behind your insecurities. It allows you to take a step back when less of you is needed or a step forward when it’s time to be the hero.
a few quick ways to up your confidence game would be…
- Self Awareness. Take stock of yourself. Seek out your core values and identify them. What gets you excited and why? Ask your wife and your kids what they see as your strengths and even ask them about your weaknesses and give them immunity (meaning that you just let them tell you the truth without questioning them or becoming defensive). Just listen, understand and start working to fix any problems right away while being encouraged by the strengths that the point out.
- Take Chances. Take a few chances. It doesn’t have to be dangerous or world changing but put yourself out there a little bit. Plan a date with your wife…like plan it all from start to finish. Schedule “Daddy Dates” where your kids make the plans and set the schedules…turn off your phones, set up auto responders on your email and just be with them. You just might see that you’ll have as much fun as they will.
When I think about my father I think about how he always seemed to know what to say at the right times. Sometimes he went deep and gave me something to think about but other times he said such simple things with such conviction that it instantly resonated with me as truth. When I think about my step father I think of a guy that knew how to fix just about everything. It wasn’t uncommon to see him under the hood of one of our vehicles or elbow deep in some hole in the wall fixing some sort of electrical or plumbing issue. He never put on a show like he knew it all but he always figured the problems out in the end. He also wasn’t afraid to let me help him or to explain what he was doing.
To this day if I have a problem that I need some advice with I’ll call my dad and if I run across an issue with my car or house that I’m not able to fix on my own I call my stepdad. I know that they will have me on the right track if I just listen to what they advise. Those men are capable men that made me feel safe as a kid…and as an adult. It is my goal to give my wife and children that level of comfort, reliability and trust. This will only come from becoming more capable as a family leader.
a few quick ways to up your capability game are….
- Be a Lifelong Learner. Continue to learn how the physical and the emotional world works. Read books, take online courses, join a class, join a facebook group and ask questions….etc. Test what you learn and hold on to what is true for you and toss what isn’t. This will help you root yourself in truth and in your core values which is very important for any family leader.
- Define who you are and what you believe. This falls under the self awareness mantle which is so important. You need to ask yourself what you believe about the world. Are you religious? Why or why not? What are your thoughts on politics and why do you feel that way? Who do you look up to and why?…etc. Often times we take things like this for granted, the way we feel is just the way we feel but that isn’t good enough. When our children look at us and are trying to form their own views on the world they are going to ask you questions. Hard questions. They will benefit greatly from your thoughtful and confident answers…even if they take another path in life. There are many sources these days for kids to turn to if we don’t have wisdom to share…So start to articulate some answers to those questions and make sure your family has a safe and prepared resource to turn to.
I hope this helps clarify why become more Caring, Confident and Capable is so important to family leadership. As always, if you have any questions reach out to me at Blaze@TorchFamilyLeadership.com
LIGHT THE TORCH AND LEAD THE WAY!