Leadership - 11.14.2019

Leading from the Front in Your Family

The luxury of hindsight makes things perfectly clear

Tony Hunter Author: Tony Hunter

Let me start by thanking everyone who reached out regarding my most recent article, Leading from the Front in Your Community. Hearing your stories about involvement with charitable organizations and supporting those in your community was inspiring. 

And I heard from many who said “Tony, it’s easy to see how to lead from the front in your community. But how do you lead from the front in your family?”

There is no simple answer to this complex question. Every family has unique needs and complicated circumstances. This makes leading from the front in your family more challenging, requiring customized approaches and solutions.  

It was with this in mind that I started, and failed, to begin this piece multiple times. Who am I to tell others how to lead their family? The last thing I want to do is give parenting advice. 😬

So as I said, this piece was a struggle to start. And then I heard Stacey speak. 

Stacey is the father of a young family that Metropolitan Family Services has been able to assist. He spoke at MFS’s annual Mpower the Night gala, and nearly brought me to tears. Here was this man whose story and journey embodied leading from the front of his family.

Stacey spoke on behalf of MFS’s Gerst Family Young Fathers program. At the time he started the program, he was a minimum wage earning crew member at a local Portillo’s. Recognizing this was not going to afford him the resources required to raise his kids and provide for his family, he signed up for the Fathers program.

As part of the program, participants are encouraged to earn the certificates and licenses needed to build the capabilities required to move into management roles. With the help of the program, and Stacey’s hard work, he is now the General Manager of a McDonald’s franchise. This opportunity has increased his earnings and positioned his family to achieve their dreams.

What impacted me the most about Stacey’s speech was not only the fantastic professional accomplishments he has made, but how those accomplishments have helped his family from an emotional standpoint. The Young Fathers program sponsors many father-child events, which have given Stacey opportunities to bond with his kids. In his own words, “This has allowed me the opportunity to continue to demonstrate to my children how much I love them.”

Stacey’s story and actions provide great insight into leading from the front in your family.  

Here are three key themes:

  1. Understand, accept and embrace the profound impact your actions will have on your family.
  2. Stay current and relevant, both professionally and personally. 
  3. Take time to be “present” and show your unconditional love for family members.

As is the case with much of what I write about, I’ve learned most of what I know from others (thanks, Stacey) and through experience (school of hard knocks). 

The luxury of hindsight makes things perfectly clear: 

“If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.” – Mother Teresa