As a family with nine children, we’ve had to learn the division of labor in a very real way.
If we’re not coordinated, communicating, and on the same page, our lives quickly turn into chaos.
One of the things that we’ve learned to do is to balance work and family by getting our whole family to share responsibilities for the workload…. this includes…
General cleaning and more…
It all starts with communication…. We’ve had several family meetings over the years to help us figure out and identify shortcomings and weakness and to bring resources and labor to solve problems.
There are a couple things that we found to work well…
- the family meeting… communication and creativity are key
- having a family chore chart posted in a common area… this way there is no negotiation. The chart knows all…
- we include standards, with consequences if the person doesn’t do his or her share of their chores
- we teach chores at a very young age, so that even the youngest of our family knows what is expected and can contribute on some level to the betterment of our family
- whenever possible, we try to make chores fun or less burdensome. We add music, talking, laughing and general fellowship wherever possible…
- lastly, we as parents offer frequent praise and appreciation to each person contributing to the welfare of our family. We are free to encourage and express thanks.
Beware of mom or dad inheriting the undone chores. The occasional rescue operation is okay but when one of us ends up having to cover on an ongoing basis, beware of bitterness, anger, and resentment.
The heart of a servant is the key to all the above…
We believe that is caught, not taught. It is truly a difficult character trait to train into children.
But it can and must be done. So, we continue to model a servant’s heart and to be doers. When it comes to family chores, it is not an overnight process and should be looked at as an ongoing training project, approached incrementally, sequentially and methodically.
Men are great project managers in the workplace, and even at home, but we fail miserably when it comes to relationship building…. allow me to explain….
Men tend to be great planners, movers, shakers, project managers, people managers…but we are often crappy at building relationships with those we love… why is that?
We can run a business and government, and even a society, but were often poor at running a family.
Our family—wife, children often get the leftovers of our mind, body emotions in spirit at the end of the day.
Here are a few of the reasons, the issues, problems, and challenges that face men and undermine their desire to create and build relationships of quality with their families…
No goals, objectives, or written plan to make family a priority
Poor time management skills… just being too busy… not making time for their priorities
Poor skill sets with fathering
Poor fathering examples
Buying, owning and maintaining too many possessions and stuff
1000 other distractions, including low priority activities such as….
- illicit activity
And when men get stuck, we never ask for directions….
How can we possibly admit weakness, vulnerability, or just being lost?
This all makes for a very sad situation.
Men are not picking and living heir priorities….
and once lost, not seeking to find a way back on track….
Name the three great examples of fathers in current culture…..you can’t say Bill Cosby, or the guy on “Father Knows Best”…
Go ahead; we’re waiting….
Can’t seem to find three?
Where have all the dads gone?
What is it with us guys?…
We can build societies, cities, economies, entire countries, but we can’t build relationships?
What’s up with the dads?
Dads are in trouble.
Everything assaults us…
Society, work, appetites, pressures, time management, busyness etc…
We have no training, no schools, no workshops, few seminars, and no classes on how to be an effective father… moreover, as you learned from the exercise above, we have very few examples from which to learn.
At the end of the day, or even the beginning for that matter, a dad has to ask the following questions…
- Who am I?
- What do I want?
- Why am I here?
- What’s not working now?
- What would I like to see start working now…
I will attempt to answer these questions as the Good Dad/Bad Dad seven secrets to effective fathering continues…
No matter where you work, the rhythm of your day is considerably different and probably more intense as you transition to coming home….
Arriving home, still in the mindset of work and unable to let go of your day’s events, can lead to stressful collisions between work and family.
To change counterproductive habits ask the following questions…
- Where can I start to change things that negatively impact my work/family balance
- What habits can I change?
- How can I leave work problems at work?
- How can I smoothly transition?
- What do I need to do to clearly draw the line between work and family?
Transition tips… before you leave work
- Devote the final minutes of your workday to your easier and less pressured tasks.
- Empty your mind of unfinished business by putting pen to paper… write your to-do list.
- Be realistic about work that you take home. Make sure it’s the best use of your time. Make sure you can realistically accomplish the work before you take it home. Delegate or postpone where possible.
Cooling off at home…
- Prearrange with family members to allow a rejuvenation time for yourself upon arriving home. For me, it’s taking a hot tub with my little boys… or having some guacamole and chips and talking with my wife about my day or hers…
- Be careful about talking about your day. Arriving home and immediately unloading about the day’s events can easily trigger fatigue-driven arguments.
- Enjoy a small premium snack to restore energy… fresh guacamole, holy cannoli!!
- If you discuss your workday, agree upon a prearranged time to sit down. Decide with your partner how much time he wants to devote to discussing work issues, versus other issues such as family, children, were other shared interests.
Be deliberate, intentional, and focused in making your transition from work to home smooth each night… I like to pray, sing, meditate and just get quiet before coming home…. beware of using the cell phone as it’s distracting and does not help the transition home.
Once you master this practice, it really makes coming home fun. I jokingly talk with my wife about having some cave time… to just chill. It really helps my marriage and my headspace. What do you need to make the transition from work to home a smooth one?
Some of the reasons why my wife and I have chosen to have a large family are simple and some are a little deeper, having to do with leaving a legacy… I’ll explain…
We started with a deep desire to please God, and went from there.
We prayed for God’s best for us, including the possibility of a large family.
We determined our heart’s desire and direction and then we went forward.
During this period, we looked at and then planned for the resources we would need to have a large family, including a large van, dinnertable, income budget, etc…
We read many books by folks who had large families and had allowed God and his principles to govern their lives in having a large family. They were able to trust God and not be afraid, and welcome large challenges.
Many of their lives, simple as that may be, are testaments of faith, trust, genuine and pure obedience.
Kids are not a curse from God… as our society subtly indicates.
Kids are a blessing from God… the Bible is superclear on that point.
Now, I believe our family legacy is a decision of vision… some of the topics that deserve attention are…
- Time.. quality and quantity
- Vision… living with intention and purpose and decisiveness to leave a legacy of vision, a solid heritage and a godly influence.
- Example… nothing speaks louder than how you live. Your kids and wife know who you are and what your example is like at home. You cannot hide who you are from those whom you live with.
- Church community… it’s vital to have and to be related to spiritual godly church community.
- Listening, focused attention, and touch… vital to communication with everybody. This includes our family members, especially.
- Identifying the thieves.., TV, computer time, non-vital projects, too many activities… basically anything that will steal away from your core vision of building relationships with your family. These are the things that rob time, energy and focus… everybody has some… what are yours?
I know the key is to live day-to-day with intention and purpose… manage your time and line up the priorities and goals which you have prayerfully thought about and written down over months and years.
It’s at this point, one can go forward and head in the direction, albeit not perfectly, toward your decision to live with vision…
Your elevator speech is arguably the most important piece of public speaking you’ll ever do.
It’s key, because it’s a short description you could give about your company in the time it takes to ride an elevator. It must be…
- Easily understood
The key here is to craft a clear and memorable speech.
The other key is to have it ready, memorable, memorized, clear, and concise.
It takes some decision-making to decide what to leave in and what to take out of your elevator pitch. The biggest mistake is to take too literally the question " what do you do?"…. then try to answer that question in too much detail.
Your elevator pitch must be short, brief and should touch very briefly on the products and services you sell and what market you serve, as well as your competitive advantage. This USP, or unique selling point, should describe briefly what one unique thing your company does better than anyone else.
So go home and sit down and craft your elevator pitch. That way you’ll be completely prepared the next time someone asks you…" what do you do?"
Here is some great stuff from Zig Zigler on how to have and maintain a winner’s attitude…
These are all decisions of the will, conscious choices,and are done with deliberate intentionality…
- Look for good in every situation…. identify positive signals
- Greet people correctly… look them in the eye with a firm handshake and a big smile.
- Take care of your health.. eat correctly, work out three to four times a week, get adequate sleep.
- Feed your mind… take time out to read, pray, and feed your mind and spirit. Practice having a daily quiet time, where you can get still and truly consider the real issues of life.
- Be punctual, reliable, work hard and get along with people…
This is some real simple advice… but once followed can be life changing. It’s all about making the correct decision, having the right perspective,, and being intentional about our perceptions and outlook.
Like Abraham Lincoln said,” most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be.”
Selling and fathering have much in common….
Ideally, they’re both relationship-based and include a commitment to that relationship.
Here is what I mean…sales and being a dad, both of the following in common…
- Both have a long-term perspective
- Both have to do with a deep commitment
- Both have true care at the core
- Both require being a dreamer
- Both require knowing your client.
- Both require knowing your product and having solid product knowledge
- Both require a network of people who will help you
- Both require knowing the five W.’s of the person you’re working with
- Both involve the power of your words… speaking with conviction, life, and kindness
- Both involve having the right message…. and solid believe in your message
- Both require consistency, patience, and time
- Both require relationship building, time, and shared activities
- Both require a set standard, including goals, benchmarks, and achievement
- Finally, both require a true sense of love, kindness and genuine care…
Building relationships with clients or children are predicated on many of the same concepts.
These relationship-based commonalities/parallels, plus time, will guarantee a fulfilling relationship and great accomplishment for those involved .
To set realistic goals, answer the following questions…
- How much money do I want to earn this year?
- What is the average amount of a sale in my business?
- How many average sales does it take to earn the money I want this year?
- How long does it take me to complete an average sale?
- How many prospects do I have to talk to in order to make an average sale?
Answer the following questions to ensure your sales effectiveness…
- Have I established a budget for marketing, sales, and advertising? How much investment in these will it take to reach my sales goals?
- Do I need help to implement my marketing and sales activities? If so, what kind of help and from whom?
- How many employees and/or other people will be involved?
- How will I track the results of my efforts?
- How will I determine if I need to make changes to my approach?
- If I need help to make my sales efforts more effective, where will I get the help I need?
Remember, selling isn’t telling—it’s asking and showing.
It’s measurable, quantifiable, systematic, incremental, methodical, and sequential.
My wife went to Iowa for seven days and left me with seven children to care for.
I have learned the following lessons and wanted to blog them for posterity….
As much as it’s been a great week, with much accomplished, I still feel I have underestimated the love and value and work that is my wife’s on a regular basis….
Lessons learned include….
- I will be home early or on time… if I am late, I will call
- I will save my problems until after I have heard hers
- I will bring flowers weekly
- I will make sure mom gets time out, and time off
- I will endeavor to simply remember the relentlessness of the ongoing task of motherhood
- I will keep the kids clear on the division of labor and responsibilities they have
- We’ll write a schedule and keep it
- I will manage my end of the day anger… I will warn those around me when I am on edge
- I will make sure my wife has sufficient cash funds
- We will talk about upcoming events, ride shares, schedules, chores, etc., on a daily basis
- I will enforce my agenda, ideas for improvement, and minor tweaks in our family schedule, and protocol… and not leave it all to my wife, as she has much on her plate already.
I hope I caught most of the lessons I needed to learn this week.
I’m sure there are others and in the evolution of being a family they will come up.
In the meantime, my wife cannot get home soon enough.
Joni come home…. soon!