What sort of leader is or was your father?

It’s Father’s Day in New Zealand this Sunday 6 September. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Many of our mental models in life come from our childhood and it seems to me that our fathers will have had an influence on our leadership journey. What sort of leader is or was your father? I’d love to hear your stories.

Credit where credit is due: My thinking started in this area from Mike Rogers, someone also passionate about leadership who posed the same question at the time of the USA Father’s Day in June. Thanks Mike. www.secondg.net/fathers

10 thoughts on “What sort of leader is or was your father?

  1. A lovely response to the blog from a colleague:

    F-for , A-a, T-teacher, H- he, E-enshrine R-responsibilities

    What does the above says about my father? He was a man of influence, leader of change and driven by the need to leave a legacy that’s worth leaving for future generations.

    One example, we had a family bestowing of titles, this event at times involve the whole country. When it was time to dish out fine mats, this often done in a traditional order of titles or districts.

    One person, decided to jump the queue. This time was based on greediness but forgot, he disrespect others people who got higher titles who should be first in line.

    My father got up and told him to leave the event. He told this man that people like him do things for his own benefit only. He does not think of what affect his action have on the young people watching.

    He has a belief that now is our time to arise. Shall we wait for another generation to do the changes when history mistake can be right or shall we wait to pass on the tools to the new generation to fix our current errors. We suppose to pass on instructions as how to use tools, not just tools to the next generation?

    He is a leader who believe in doing things right, allow only for mistake s if there is a lesson to learn from it. Otherwise, he prefer structures as it’s a way to avoid fragmented systems and people doing things without a direction.

    As a father, he was a father to all children of many extended families. His father died when he was only three, and he relied on those around him for father role models. They were not often good role models for him, yet he carved his own path as a leader by watching the great leaders of his time.

    Leadership was the only skills he learnt when he became that person to his two younger sisters. It appears he was someone who was born to be a leader. The weight of the family was on him as a younger person, and family titles were bestowed so he can take the lead in village settings, church settings and later justice setting.

    Many people talked about his leadership, his strength and his fearless of pursuing what is right. He gave up his home so others can be sheltered . He gave up his judging position so justice can be done. He shared his food with his enemies. He gave up his leadership so others can learn from leading.

    The words he said, the things he did were driven by the desire to set a good foundation for future generations. Whether that’ s a e good thing for a new era its another story.

    We have a proverb, “ o le lou ma lona fuata” it meant when the breadfruit bear new fruits the following season, there is new tools for hooking fruits.

    The way he lived his life revealed, not only he found the answer as how to be a father, but true to the cause of leadership.

    What he did with his life, was to set not only his children’s place in the community, but to show how to pursue life with dignity and caring for others

    His effective leadership still remember two decades later in the community. Those who followed ended up becoming influential leaders themselves. His children grew up not spending time with him, but the writings he left behind had some influence in pursuing leadership.

    His inspiration life gave me confidence to be comfortable in my own skin and have the courage to fill his shoes when requires.

    Thanks Dad for your inspirational leadership.


  2. Foremost my father was thoughtful and considerate of others. Integrity, respect, loyalty and commitment were also his hallmarks. Not given to many words, my father led by example; but he would speak out on issues he felt strongly about. Although I was still in my teens when he died, my father’s example had a significant impact in shaping my own values and approach to life.


  3. Hey Stephen.

    My Dad died when he had his 3rd heart attack in late 1999. He was a very quiet man generally (another introvert I hear you say!) I always think of him with his bacon and egg butty on a Saturday morning, a small cup of coffee on the table and his head buried in the crossword. Very knowledgable and with a good sense of humor he was an Aircraft Engineer and worked for Dunlop making the wheels for Concorde and later he worked on the British Aerospace 146 crawling inside the wing’s of this small aircraft welding the fuel tanks from the inside. He was also a publican for a while. He was respected by many and had many friends. He was one of the lads and loved a good joke. How I ended up so different i’ll never understand? 🙂 Our family has never been the same.


  4. This is from Mike, who emailed me about his late Father:

    Stanch, a little old fashioned, loyal, opinionated, believed that women were to be respected and treated in a caring way “like women”, jealous at times, technically savvy, liked his wine, out going but shy, liked to travel, liked to eat out, liked a good steak, that will do i guess.

    Thanks Mike. Clearly a good man.


  5. A few words that sum up my father’s leadership style;
    – encouraging
    – constructive criticism
    – lets me make my own mistakes
    – leads by example
    – supportive
    – trust


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