As Fathers Day approaches I am left to reflect on the kind of father I am and the kind of father I want to be. I am privileged to be called “Dad” by two fine young adults, a 16 year old daughter and an 18 year old son. I think often of how I can best serve them as they navigate this crazy world of ours. And while I am far from perfect, as a student of leadership it seems to me that the most effective way of supporting their growth is to take a page from Kuezes and Posners work The Leadership Challenge and Model the Way. To lead by example.
This is one of the reasons I am proud to take on a strong advocacy role when it comes to gender equity and the prevention of violence and abuse. I believe that men have a very important role to play in both these arenas. I also know that many good men, men who want to make a difference, sometimes struggle trying to understand where they can step up and pitch in. I strive to be an example for my children as to what you can do when you take a stand for something you believe in. I strive to show men everywhere how they can make an impact.
For my daughter, I want her to see that there are ‘good men’ out there. I want to show her what it means to have healthy relationships. For my son, I want him to see the same and show him how as a ‘good man’ he can step up and make a difference. I want them both to understand how much better our world becomes when we actively participate in solutions instead of simply griping about the problem.
This is why I am incredibly excited to tell you I have agreed to take part in the Strengthening Ties initiative put together by Women’s Shelters Canada. Strengthening Ties is putting together 100 founding men who will make a commitment to standing in solidarity with women who are suffering abuse. We currently have 82 men, some of the most influential businessmen in Canada, who have made a commitment to this initiative.
While there is a financial commitment to becoming a founding member, I see this as an incredible opportunity to show my children and the world that men do care. That in fact 100 of us have agreed to stand together for change. So when I reflect on what kind of father I want to be I can easily say that I want to be the kind of father that Models the Way to a better world, a world of gender equity free of abuse. I want to be the kind of father that shows, rather than tells his kids how to create that world.
If any of this resonates with you as a father, you still have an opportunity to become one of the last 18 founding members. You can find information here or give me a phone call at 780.903.4000
You can see the men currently involved here as well.