On May 24, 2016 I celebrated 8 years of wedded bliss with my beautiful wife Sierra. By today’s standards being married 8 years at only 31 years young is a fantastic feat. It’s not a huge deal to me personally, I’m very fortunate to have found the right one early on. Looking at my inner circle and beyond however, I can definitely see the challenges a lot of people have with the institution of marriage.
To me 8 years isn’t a terribly long time, but being married to someone for any amount of time will certainly teach you a few things about leadership. Marriage is not something everyone should take part in, but leadership is something we all must take part in.
Before I get to the leadership lessons here are just 10 random things I learned from being married:
- I’m not the sexiest man alive (I’m still in the top 1 billion, but not # 1).
- I’m not the funniest guy in the world.
- I am more like my dad than I realize.
- My sarcasm is annoying at times.
- I am a huge slob.
- I am always hot when my wife is cold.
- I obsess too much about money.
- I spend too much time on Facebook.
- I can be too flirtatious with the opposite sex.
- I don’t deserve my wife.
In this article I just wanted to share 3 things I learned from being Sierra’s husband and how they are related to becoming a better leader.
- I am not that big a deal.
In other words I learned humility very quickly. My wife is great at being honest with me. I remember one time early in our marriage when I asked my wife, “How could I be a better husband?” I figured she would say 1 or 2 things. She rattled off about 3 things quickly to which I responded, “Is that it?” Begrudgingly she named about 5 other things that I could work on. The moral of that lesson is no matter how great we think we look, no matter how smart we think we are, or how awesome we are, we’re not all that. I do believe we should take pride in the things we do well, but as leaders we have to operate with prideful humility. No matter what you do always progress your prowess but sedate your pride.
- Don’t operate on feelings, operate on commitment.
Throughout being with my wife 12 years and being married to her for 8 years there have been multiple times that we did not like each other. The largest part of the word emotion is the word ‘motion’ which indicates feelings move all the time. There will be some days you won’t want to be with your spouse, there will be times that you feel like you should leave, or that you’re better off on your own. Those feelings change. Make a habit not to make permanent decisions off of temporary emotions. As a leader you have to operate on the commitment of the well being of your organization. You will have to manage your feelings and emotions, but you have to let your commitment drive your decision making not your feelings.
- To succeed with others you have to be on the same team.
I am very fortunate to have the wife I have. She does not have a confrontational personality and she is the ying to my yang. We have only had a handful of what most people would call bad arguments. I can literally count them on one hand and tell you why we were fighting. The biggest reason I believe we do not argue a lot is because we understand that we are on the same team. When she tells me to pick up my socks and clean up after myself it is not because she wants to nag me, it’s so our house won’t be a mess. As a leader we have to make sure those on our team know that when you suggest things that may be uncomfortable you’re doing so to move the team forward. Make sure you articulate the benefits of being on your team and make sure you continually remind your teammates that your success is theirs also.
We are currently booking dates for the Fall of 2016 and beyond. We’d love to partner with your organization to deliver a great program for your students.
Do you have any leadership lessons from your relationships? If so please reply to this email or comment below. We’d love to have your suggestions to pass along to others.
Do you get our emails? Join the IMPACT mailing list to discover great resources and events to enhance the leadership experience of your students and staff alike. Look for the box on the top right column of this page and submit your name to get monthly updates.
Until we meet again.