Over the last two to three months I have been studying books written by Ken Blanchard. I have been implementing what he calls Situational Leadership without knowing what it is I was doing. I am excited to put to words what I already do well and to learn on a deeper level how to do it exceptionally. The Blanchard’s focus on training and equipping business and organizational leaders how to effectively lead their staff in a emotionally, healthy way. The leadership style they teach requires the leader to be truly honest with themselves both about their strengths and weaknesses. There are times when a leader is implementing what they have been taught through the Blanchard company and it is still not working, they wonder what in the world is going on. The techniques are often in place but there is still a barrier to get through. My take away from the books I have read have said it is often because there is a truth in the leaders life that is not being dealt with. It could be they are trying to not see it or they honestly are not aware of how what they are doing consciously or unconsciously is causing their company or organization to not be as effective. A company or businesses success is only as strong as the leaders pour into their people. Your people must be seen as your first asset.
When I read that paragraph as a parent it causes me to think of what my leadership management looks like with my kids. I know my kids are as different from each other as night and day. What works for one does not mean it will work for any of our other kids. When I digested the book Leadership and the One Minute Manager I realized my kids are at different places even within themselves. The mentoring and coaching my kids need from me needs to be evaluated based on their learning style, outlook on life, physical, mental, emotional and spiritually. Each will require a different leadership style. I know this from homeschooling our kids and going through a whole box of tissues from one math assignment. Just because they can get through the assignment academically does not mean they will be able to get through it emotionally. This is the case with Naomi, yet she is capable to whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies on her own.
She loves to bake and spend time with me in the kitchen, she always has. It is where we have some of our deepest conversations. She has watched me cream, combine, whip and bake since she could stand safely on a chair. The steps to successful, non burnt cookies was a process and now she is soaring through other kinds of cookie baking, but it was not a wake up and poof she could do it. All though every once in a while there are those moments, too, but even in these poof moments mentoring and coaching has been happening either by watching until they had every step mesmerized or they emotionally caught up to what they were academically ready to accomplish.
Effective parenting also requires me to be brutally honest with myself. I am forced to look and call things sin in my life. We are a culture were sin has become a dirty word and honestly it is a dirty word. When sin happens someone or something has been hurt and usually both. It requires God’s ability through me to truthfully acknowledge the areas I need to grow in and develop my weaknesses. If we are not acknowledging our weaknesses and the moments when we are walking in the flesh then we deceive ourselves and the relationships with our kids will not as strong as we would like. Our kids also see right through our crap and either their mouths or their actions will call us on it. There have been times I did not want to own up to my sin or weakness and I looked at my kids with my finger pointed and stern face and said be respectful. What my heart was really saying was don’t call me on my sin because then I will have to be honest with the pain, embarrassment or whatever else is going on.
The techniques of an effective One Minute Manager is as effective in parenting as it is with a business or organization. It is effective for turning around a parent-child relationship. It will require reestablishing or establishing trust and respect for the first time. It will require yourself to be truthful both to yourself and your child. It will require a One Minute Apology both to yourself, God and your child. It will also require truth and honestly truth is the first place I have found I must start.
If I have learned anything about rebuilding my relationship with my kids it is that allowing God to remove the shame, guilt and embarrassment I feel out weighs my need to allow myself to feel “safe”. What is it in your life you need to confront? Perhaps you need to pray and ask the Lord what it is you need to confront in order to be effective in your relationships. Will you join me and step out in faith and be willing to let God remold and shape you and your family? I know I am, come along, we can go through the trenches together.