Men are under attack! The image, integrity, and value of men has never been more diminished than it is today. The idea of children needing a father that is present or wives needing a caring husband is mocked more than it is honored. I’m here to tell you that families, companies, and even this country need men. Men who will step up and step out into the roles to which they were called. So, whether you’re a husband, father, or a department manager, this post is for you.
I do want to address those of you that believe this post might not pertain to you. If you are a woman, I ask that you read this thoughtfully, then please share this with 1 man in your life that has impacted your life or that could use a challenge and some encouragement.
First, I want to tell you that you are reading a KennyLange.com first. I have co-written this with someone who has mentored me for the past 7 years and has been one of the main men to challenge and encourage me as a young husband, father, and leader. His name is Corey Hooper and he is currently the Associate Pastor over Family, Freedom, and College Ministries for New Covenant Church in Tyler, TX and has served there for almost 12 years.
He has been married for 20 years and is the father of 3 beautiful kids. He is also a former college and professional soccer player and has been named captain for almost every team he’s been a part of. He’s also started a youth soccer club and grew it from 30 players to over 400 before he stepped down from his position as Director of Coaching. So, I’d say he knows a bit about leadership.
We want to start by saying we honor you, men! We honor your sacrifice for your family and your team. We honor you for giving of your most valuable asset to your family and team — which is, of course, your time. We honor you for those early morning soccer games or strategy meetings, those crazy hot or cold camping excursions or those uncomfortable team building activities. We honor you for those “conversations of a father,” that at the time seem so insignificant, but truly are the most impacting moments in a child’s or team member’s life.
We believe men respond best to a mixture of encouragement (honor) and challenge. We long to rise to the occasion and accomplish something bigger than ourselves. This is rarely more evident than when we, as men, watch heroic movies like 300, Gladiator, and, possibly one of the greatest classics, Braveheart.
Mel Gibson‘s character, William Wallace, led a small band of men in a rebellion against the oppressive English army after his bride was murdered publicly. He will be our example of how to lead. So, to set the tone, please watch the video below. Most of you have probably seen it or at least heard the famous lines from this clip.
So, we want to distill William Wallace’s leadership down to 3 key principles, that if implemented, will radically change how you lead yourself, your family, and your work place. Below the brief explanations, there will be a commitment for the men and a way to encourage the men in your life.
1. Tough For
William was always very tough when it came to defending his troop of warriors and even his country. As men, it is very natural for us to be the “tough guy” and enter into that fierce, protector mode. However, we must make sure that our “toughness” is always used for our family or our teams and not turned towards them.
Commitment for Men: Whether a boss, a friend, or a complete stranger, always speak well of your family or team in public and be bold to oppose talk that is negative. Even if it is “just a joke”.
Encouragement from Family/Friends: When you see or hear a man speaking well of his family or team, make a point to say something to him about how you admire and respect that he did that.
2. Tender Towards
As a man, being tender may not be your go to mode of operation, but I can assure you that it is a huge mistake to overlook it. William knew his countrymen were weary and scared of what was a larger army, but, instead of chastising all of them, he validated their feelings and fears and then asked them to rise above it and follow him into the fight. If you show tenderness towards your family or team, you are likely to find that they will soon want to run through walls for you.
Commitment for Men: Regardless of how irrational a family member or team member’s concern is, do not dismiss it. Instead empathize, strategize, then lead them through it.
Encouragement from Family/Friends: When you see or hear a man speaking with tenderness towards a member of his family or team, make a point to say something to him about how you admire and respect that he did that.
In part of the film, directly after the clip above, William speaks with the 3 men in charge of Scotland’s army. While he intensely disagrees with their philosophy in defending their country and generally thinks that they’re cowards, he forms a strategy with them that will use his men and theirs to defeat the English at the Battle of Sterling. As men, we may have the occasion arise when we will have to work with those we do not respect. It may not be your preference to work those people, but it will speak volumes to your family and team if you find a way to complete a task with those you don’t like.
Commitment for Men: Whether a family member or another team member that you don’t gel with, make the effort to work with them when a greater level of success is possible through collaboration.
Encouragement from Family/Friends: When you see or hear a man collaborating with people you know he struggles to get along with, make a point to say something to him about how you admire and respect that he did that.
I want to finish with this encouragement for men to fight…
Aye, fight and you may die. Run and you’ll live — at least a while. And dying in your beds many years from now, would you be willing to trade all the days from this day to that for one chance, just one chance to come back here and tell our enemies that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take our freedom!!! – William Wallace
Contact: Corey Hooper
Book Recommendation from Corey Hooper: Loving Our Kids On Purpose: Making A Heart-To-Heart Connectionby Danny Silk