Why bother trying to be a better leader?
I spend a lot of time reading to learn more about writing and about leadership for this blog. I also try and put what I learn into practice. It is never easy – I often feel like a hypocrite! But I have noticed important changes over time: changes in my perspectives; changes in my worldview; changes in my happiness with who I am and how well I do my job.
When I began blogging, I was unsure why I was doing it and I shared that doubt in my first blog (see below). Why bother working at making our company something special? Why bother sharing what I learn? I questioned whether it was worth the added time away from my family.
Republished from the IBEX Payroll Blog (first published in May 2010):
Funny. As I walked my kids home from school this past Friday, I was thinking about my new blog. What would the first post be about? How would I communicate my passion for what we are doing at IBEX? Do I really want to do a blog? As I was thinking these thoughts I felt a hand slide into mine. It was my nine-year-old son Aidan’s hand. The blog thoughts slipped away completely and I thought about whether this would be the last time this ever happened. It happens rarely enough as it is. Nine-year-old boys are into many things and holding the old man’s hand is not high on that list. I enjoyed the moment, I engaged with my son, and after a few minutes I felt those fingers that I love so much gently and naturally slip away from mine.
I have thought about that moment in the context of my life almost non-stop ever since. What does it really matter what I do at work? It is what I do at home that really matters. Why put so much energy into building a different kind of workplace for myself and the rest of the Herd when I should be focused on being a great husband and father? Ultimately I don’t know the right answer to this question. I do believe though that every person wants to succeed as an individual and as a member of society. I want to build a company that attracts people committed to both and helps them do it in ways they never imagined.
I can now say without a doubt that the journey has been worth it and will continue to be until the day I die. Being a better leader, concerned about the well-being of my team and trying to get important things done well, has translated directly into being a better father, husband, and member of my community. Pausing to capture and share my thoughts and stories in this blog makes me that much more aware of – and grateful for – the things that matter most.
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