Leadership Starts With The Family

The quickest way for an organization to fail is for its leader to have an unstable home. Home life, family life, is the foundation for professional success. How a person conducts himself in private will determine his fate in public. My grandmother once told me, “A man’s character is judged not by what he does in the light but rather by what he does in the dark.” 

How are you acting when no one is watching? 

Far too often we try to separate work and family as if they don’t belong together in any way. But this is a sign of folly. The manner in which men and women conduct themselves and lead their families will determine their leadership potential at work. Paul’s detailed instructions to Timothy for appointing church leaders should be carefully considered at this point. 

“Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)…A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well.” – 1 Timothy 3: 2-5, 12 NIV 

Human resource managers take note! As the commentary in The Voice edition of the Bible indicates, “Paul never provides a job description for “overseers” and “deacons.” What he does offer is a list of character traits or qualifications that challenge even the most outstanding disciple.” How then can we separate work and family? Should we not elect politicians, hire CEOs, and nominate board members based on how well candidates conduct themselves and lead their families? 

A house divided will not stand. Jesus said it this way, “Every kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and every city or household divided against itself will not stand.” If you aspire to be a leader, you desire a noble task. But as you pursue your leadership potential, be sure that you can pass the “stable home test” found in 1 Timothy 3.