Where Leaders Come to Think

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Like Father, Like Son


As a father, of a teenage son my role as leader carries over into the home more now than ever before. Leadership demands only seem to grow in life, but I have found that I must learn to live intentionally if I want to invest in my family as much as I do my career.

That probably sounds obvious, but if we use time as a measuring tool than it becomes apparent that although I give leading at home a considerable effort there is probably more that is required of me. I want to bring up the next generation in a way that honors God and His remarkable love of family.

I believe that the teenage years can be some of the best, most productive years of a person’s life. I hate seeing any young adult trade what is endless life potential for high scores on video games. (Gee, I sound like my dad.)

This is why I took the suggestion of Michael Hyatt and created my personal life plan. I believe that there is a difference between having a purpose and living that purpose out on a daily basis. My intention is honorable, but my execution often comes up short. Time always seems to get me in the end. That is if I am not deliberate about cultivating the soil that God has placed in my path.

Creating a personal life plan has given me the ability to focus on what I believe is most valuable to God in my life and consequentially what’s most important to me. It has given me the freedom to pursue my dreams and desires while accomplishing His purposes for me in this life. I have often said, and it remains true that when God’s will collides with my hearts desires it becomes a beautiful collision.

That’s the kind of intentionality I want to pursue in life. I want to leave a legacy and participate in the story that my life is writing on planet earth. I desire to honor God with my life more than anything. (And that’s when a thought popped into my mind)

The revelation struck me that, as a home educator and father of a teenage son, I want this for him.

We have been talking about what a life plan is and why its necessary. He has seen the fruit of my personal life plan in action and now understands the significance of such a lofty discipleship endeavor.

Over the next year, we have agreed to walk closely together and design and develop a personal life plan for him, as well. I have asked, and he has given me permission to go into the places of the heart and help to nurture his dreams and desires. All with the stated purpose of allowing him, right now at age 13 to learn to live his life with purpose and intent. My job is to help him to identify and pursue his dreams and desires while pursuing God and the things that matter most in life.

We also agreed to share our journey together in the hope that you also may be inspired. If not towards life planning, then towards being intentional about cultivating a strong and rich family life with God. Don’t get me wrong there will be a Mario Cart competition thrown in for good measure. We will also get outside and pursue life together. Don’t enable the planning part of my intentionality scare you off. It’s a tool that can be used to unite us and give us a shared platform to live this life together. Now, before it’s too late.

For us, the first step in the process was to get together and “figuratively” plan my son’s funeral. It was harder than I ever expected.

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  1. amyleebell

    Great post! Our son is 7, and I often wonder if we are teaching him leadership the way we should be. My husband’s father wasn’t around, so he’s not as leader-oriented as I’d like him to be. However, I can’t push him into something like that; then I would be “leading” him to be a leader, and that seems backwards. So for now, I focus on being a follower as much as possible, hoping that he’ll just grow into the role. But I worry about how my son will learn leadership qualities.
    Anyway, I downloaded Michael Hyatt’s book a loooong time ago (when he first released it), and never even looked at it until after I read your post today. It looks really good! I think it may be just what we need around here. We all spend too much time playing video games!

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia01-19-2012

      Thanks. I appreciate your comment and wish you the best of luck. Leadership is really not all that complicated but I too appreciate some good advice. I am thankful for Michael’s book as it has given me a method to the madness. Mostly, it’s been the time that we have spent together thinking that has been the most powerful.

      Blessings to you and your family!

  2. brenda taggart
    brenda taggart01-11-2012

    Thank you for sharing your perspective. I have detailed my own life plan and while I’ve had some laughs from onlookers, I’m chipping away at my goals and milestones one step at a time. Keep up the excellent job, Mark.

    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia01-12-2012

      Thank you Brenda life’s a journey. We are having fun and enjoying the moment as we continue to get to know each other better.

  3. martingysler

    Hello Mark,

    I am very pleased that my modest article has inspired you in this article. Being a father, especially from a young teenager, is not always easy … I grant you gladly. While we believe that we are doing the maximum and the right things, life can sometimes bring us some surprises (I know what I mean, my “children” were 23 and 26 years old…). In any case, I congratulate you on your commitment and wish you every success in your step and a very successful new year.


    • Mark Mathia
      Mark Mathia01-04-2012

      Thanks Martin I appreciate your encouragement and wisdom.

  4. Merit K
    Merit K01-04-2012

    Great Post for the New Year! Thanks for being an inspiration in my goal setting for 2012!

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