I went to “The Leadership Summit” last week where I had the opportunity to gain some insight on leadership from some incredible people like Brad Anderson (CEO of Best Buy), Bill Hybels (Senior Pastor, Willow Creek Community Church) and Chuck Colson (Chairman, Prison Fellowship Ministries). I learned so much in such a short period of time about leadership that it was like trying to drink from a fire hose. I took a lot of notes and spent some time reviewing them afterward. As I was doing this it struck me that as parents we’re leading our children all the time – all the time. Ok, so this is not necessarily an Earth shattering epiphany but it is something worth dwelling on for a bit.
In everything we do, even when we think our kids are not really paying attention, we’re leading. When we’re looking at that magazine that maybe we shouldn’t be looking at we’re leading. When we’re watching that TV show that maybe we shouldn’t be watching we’re leading. When we’re reading that novel that maybe we shouldn’t be reading we’re leading. The question is where are we leading them? Is the life we’re leading one that’s going to lead them into “gray areas” where right and wrong start to blur? Is the life we’re leading going to put their feet on a slippery slope that slides them towards something like porn? Is the life we’re leading truly consistent with the values we’re trying to instill in them?
Our kids often watch our actions more than listen to the words coming out of our mouths. So do me a favor and ask yourself this question right now: “Where am I leading my kids?”. Now the tough part; write down your answer. What are you reading this sentence for? You’re supposed to be writing. Take your time; I’m not going anywhere.
The question you just answered is like a compass. An explorer checks his compass every now and again to make sure he’s staying on course. Life can put many obstacles and challenges in our way that can throw our leadership off course. So check your compass; ask yourself where you’re leading your kids every now and again. You might just avoid going over a cliff.