“Leadership is the key to life,” I heard from a CD a handful of years ago from a stranger named Orrin Woodward. “Everyone is called to lead at some point.” Woodward professed. Wow, he nailed my fear – leading. How does one lead? How does one lead well?
To say I was confused at that period of my life would be an understatement. Years of propaganda from my college days shouted, “Men move over, it’s time to let others lead!” So I did. I let my wife bring home the majority of the money. I changed a diaper as well as anyone. I kept the house clean. Meanwhile, my wife heard a message to take on the responsibility of what men neglected over the decades and generations. She carried the financial burden as well as any man, working as a pediatrician. I was a pharmacist and, though I contributed some to our income and way of life, any leadership initiative I took with my wife and children was stifled by a fear of loss rather than coming from a position of strength and serving. Most of the time I made decisions to ‘keep the peace’ and ‘not ruffle any feathers’ at home. For us, what started out as a chic role reversal, quickly became a roller coaster of confusion and anger. I remember driving to work, banging on my steering wheel in frustration and defeat, thinking there must be a better way.
Thankfully Dan Hawkins and the TEAM founded by Orrin Woodward and Chris Brady entered our lives. Their commitment to serving us and leading us down a system of truthful information brought clarity to the life fog we were in. I learned from Dan and from books like Finishing Strong that men can lead the family and that it’s socially acceptable and desirable if done right. But, what is right, isn’t that relative? No, I learned that there are absolute rights, there is a moral conduct we can live by that brings more peace, joy and sanity in this chaotic world.
Ironically, as my wife and I began to re-educate ourselves in these absolutes, we slowly redefined our roles. I wanted to lead the family, and she wanted to stay home with our children. We had ended up in roles we didn’t want to be in because we once bought into a message that said, “This is how the world works, like it or not.”
Thankfully, my wife and I learned we could change if we applied different information – and we did.
Slowly, I learned, read and listened, developing myself as a leader in my home and community. I bought into Orrin’s idea that we can raise a million leaders in this country. “We will take leadership to the masses,” Orrin said. Men, women, black, white, Asian, African, Hispanic – AMERICAN! We will accept people where they are at, we will find good in people instead of tearing them down. We will help individuals develop strengths and address weaknesses in character and integrity. “It won’t be easy, but it will be worth it,” Dan Hawkins would tell me. “We will build communities of people looking for new beginnings, encourage individuals to read again, learn to have intelligent conversations on controversial, often taboo, but always important, subjects like politics, marriage and faith.”
I remember being skeptical in the beginning. “Come on, is this for real?” It sounded too good to be true – but it was true.
Over the years I have witnessed thousands of lives transformed through the LIFE community. Marriages restored, finances turned around, broken family relationships reunited. This TEAM is about unlimited restarts and new beginnings in life . I thank God for the courage and leadership of Dan Hawkins and Orrin Woodward and look forward to playing my part in developing 1 million leaders as we bring leadership to the masses through LIFE.