I had the opportunity to attend a business leadership seminar this week by Kirk Weisler. Kirk is a renown teacher of leadership principles, known for bringing out the best in others. He conveys his messages with a unique mix of humor, critical thinking, and spirituality, combined with his genuine love of people (especially his wife and family).
I’ve been to many sessions with Kirk over the past several years, and he always starts the same way: with a picture of his wife and kids. (Kudos Kirk!)
With this example of consistency, Kirk digs right into how the business professionals in his audience can become better leaders, he always gives solid advice, most of which can be applied immediately.
This time, as I sat in the 4th row, taking notes on my laptop, Kirk said something that tripped a switch in my brain. Kirk is always pushing books and encourages continual learning. He quotes his former boss and adviser saying,
“Read more books with less pictures”
“I learned more from these books than I learned in 3 years of my 4 year college degree. If I’d read these books sooner, it would have helped me avoid some bumps in my career and my marriage”
That’s when it hit me: these principles he’s teaching are universal. They don’t just apply to business or politics, but to marriage, home and family.
I know what your thinking: spouses are a team, there’s not a single leader. You’re right. Leadership isn’t about making people do what you want them to, its about getting people to want to do the right thing. Leadership is about being an example by being your best self so that others will strive to be their best selves.
Leadership is not about being the boss, or being in charge. All people are leaders at one point in time or another in that they take opportunities to influence people.
The key principle Kirk preaches is for leaders to show they care about and take interest in the people they work with. This is a great truism, how else can you be a great influence if people don’t know or even think you care about them, their life, their dreams, their struggles, their successes?
And so it is with marriage: if we strive to be our best selves showing we care for our spouse, we can’t help but lift each other up. Lead by example. Lead each other. There is plenty for both of you to learn from one another.
Here’s the Practical Advice:
- Be Your Best Self – work to be who you know you can be everyday.
- Read Books – follow Kirk’s advice, do some reading on marriage and relationships. Take notes and figure out how to apply the principles you learn to your own unique situation.
- Maintain Open Communication – don’t just be willing and ready to talk when your spouse wants to talk, instigate conversation when its needed. Whether it’s something you need to talk about, or something you sense from your wife, no one knows there’s something to say until you say it.
Above all else: Love Your Wife