leadership priorities

3 Leadership Priorities Dads Get Out of Order

I don’t know when I’m going to learn. It seems every time I have to assemble furniture, I have pieces left over—only to find out those pieces aren’t extra. Most times, I didn’t do the steps in order, so I missed something and messed it up. Now I have an end table that wobbles so much I can’t put a cup of coffee on it. If you get the steps out of order, nothing will go together properly.

Fatherhood is like that. If we don’t focus on the right things and put our priorities in the right order, we end up missing opportunities and perhaps even hurting the people we love. Here are 3 leadership priorities dads get out of order—and how to fix it.

1. Lead yourself.

As your responsibilities grow, you often get busier and your self-discipline starts to wane. The daily time to think, learn, prepare, plan, and dream goes away. Your schedule fills up with meetings rather than time to reflect.

The faithful dad leads himself well. Take time to work on yourself. For me, this means daily habits of reading, journaling, and quiet time to calm my mind. I often use books to help me focus. If you’re looking for a daily scripture reading plan, I recommend For the Love of God by D. A. Carson. If you’re looking for a daily devotion, try The One Year Uncommon Life Daily Challenge by Tony Dungy. We all need daily time to focus on what’s important. Our own growth needs to be a priority, to sharpen our minds, remember our goals, and have clarity regarding our purpose.

What’s one thing you’re doing to lead yourself well?

2. Lead your home.

First Timothy 3:4 says, “He must manage his own household competently.” Often, we’re so busy subbing out our leadership to teachers, coaches, and youth pastors that we aren’t actually taking the lead. It’s easy to seem like you’re leading your family when everyone else is doing it for you. While it’s great to have people come alongside you, you need to be the primary leader in your kids’ lives.

Leading your family will take being home. In the middle of the busyness, it’ll take your leadership to make family time a priority. Whether it’s family dinners or one-on-one time, it’ll take not over-scheduling activities to keep your family from running in a million different directions. You need time together. Guard against the late evening meetings and working weekends if you can. Don’t be the leader who’s so busy leading outside the home that you’re too busy to lead well in your home.

What’s one thing you need to cut from your schedule to be home more?

3. Lead others.

When you prioritize the right things, you can build something solid.

If you don’t get your first two priorities in order, you’ll be useless in leading others. You can do damage to others in what you model if you don’t get the foundation right. When your priorities are in order, you’re in a good position to influence others. Whether it’s people from church, colleagues from work, or neighbors in your community, your heart will be strong, and you’ll be leading credibly. It’s just like the furniture I was putting together. If I had done it in the right order, the last few steps would have fallen into place. When you prioritize the right things, you can build something solid. You will have a positive impact—maybe even one that lasts forever.

What in your life do you need to re-order?

Sound off: Which priority do you need to work on the most right now?

Huddle up with your kids and ask, “What are your top three priorities?”