What does servant leadership have to do with parenting? An awful lot!

I noticed a number of people over the Mother’s Day and Father’s Day weekends posting pictures on Facebook, and thanking their parents for the impact they have had in their lives.

A clear mark of a servant leader is someone who has a positive impact on those people within their sphere of influence. Certainly a parent has many opportunities to positively impact their children.

The more intentional you are about this process the more impact you will have. I would offer the following focus for parents.

  1. Build the Foundation for your Family – The clearer the Purpose, Vision, and Values, the higher performance you will achieve as a family. Everything flows from having a purpose and vision, and knowing the values expected from the family on the journey. I am really looking forward to working with Dr. Mark Herringshaw to lead a group of families through a Family Portrait Retreat next week where they will be Building their Foundation for their family.
  2. Build Energy within your Family – One of the best ways I know of building energy is to be an encourager. Positively recognize your children and your spouse for the great work they are doing, as well as the fabulous values and behaviors they are exhibiting. Do this daily!!
  3. Build Performance within your Family – Leadership is all about taking someone or a group of people to a place that they wouldn’t normally get on their own. Challenge your children to drive improvement on a daily basis from both a performance and behavioral standpoint. Giving your children an understanding of the importance of driving personal improvement on a consistent basis will serve them extremely well throughout their life.
  4. Build Relationships within your Family – Don’t take your relationship with your children for granted just because they are family. Work hard at building a relationship with them.
  • Illustrate their value by investing your time with them on a 1×1 basis everyday
  • Listen to them
  • Illustrate the behaviors of love with them – Patience, kindness, humility, respectfulness, selflessness, forgiveness, honesty, and commitment
  1. Build Character – Illustrate that you can always be trusted! Do what you say, and say what you will do. Ask your children how you are doing as a parent and course correct where necessary. Your children will love you for your vulnerability just as much as for the love and wisdom that you provide. Your effectiveness of modeling servant leadership will be a gift to your children once they become parents.

The principles of servant leadership are applicable in all aspects of life. Probably no area is more important than in the lives of parents and grandparents. By being intentional about stepping into the practices of a servant leader you will provide a significant positive impact.

Mark Deterding

Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4