Remember the old science-fiction movies where a spaceship would land on a strange planet inhabited by little green aliens? Invariably the first words spoken by the crew were “Take me to your leader.” Why? Because the leader is the person with authority and the final say-so. The leader is the person who is ultimately responsible for everything that happens in the organization.
If you have a career outside the home, think about your boss. Does he or she have strong leadership skills? If not, that makes your job twice as hard. Working for a leader who doesn’t know how to lead is like walking in quicksand. No matter how hard an organization tries to succeed without an effective leader, it will soon become bogged down and sluggish. The organization will never achieve its potential for high standards without strong leadership.
Not only is it important that our leaders have strong leadership skills, but their leadership must be executed in a positive way—with lots of encouragement, support, and concrete direction. Negative people sometimes make it to positions of leadership, but the fruit of their leadership is far inferior to that of positive leadership. Those who work or serve under a negative leader may follow out of obligation, but they will likely give only the minimum effort required; their hearts won’t really be in their tasks. Positive leaders, on the other hand, know how to inspire those who work with them to higher goals and greater productivity. People who work under a positive leader find personal fulfillment in their work and understand the contribution they make to the bigger picture.
Positive leadership is also needed when raising children. If you are married, you share a leadership position over your children with your husband. If you are a single mom, you are the sole director of your home. Either way, the better leader you are, the better off your children will be.
There is a severe shortage today of positive leaders with strong moral character. Yes, there are some wonderful leaders out there, but we need hundreds, if not thousands more. We need leaders with integrity in politics, schools, churches, the military, and in our communities.
Now ask yourself this vital question about leadership: who is your spiritual leader? As a mom, you lead your children in every aspect of their lives—including their spiritual well-being—and you can’t lead them spiritually without a spiritual leader of your own. If you don’t have one, please consider making Jesus not only the leader of your life but also your personal Savior. This book is based on principles found in the holy, inspired Bible, and every leadership characteristic we will consider was modeled by Jesus Christ, God’s Son.
Be More Than a Mom, Be a Positive Home Director
Hundreds of books have been written about leadership, but few specifically for mothers, the most important leaders of all. In this book, I offer a simple, six-step course in attaining a very special degree—your Positive Home Director degree. At the completion of this course, you will not only be a mom but a Mom-PhD. And our instructor throughout this course will be one of the most esteemed women of all time: the Proverbs 31 Woman. From her we will learn six characteristics that, when applied, will transform you into a Positive Home Director. You will be a mom with a mission, a woman with a plan. Rather than simply reacting to the daily situations that arise with your children, you will be a proactive leader who has a concrete vision for training and shaping your children to be the men and women God intended them to be.
Most mothers don’t think of themselves as leaders. My mother was no exception, yet she was, without a doubt, the most influential person in my life. She instilled in me a love of reading, she taught me that education was the key to the door of opportunity, and, most important, she gave me spiritual roots. She modeled positive leadership skills for my brother and me, yet I’m willing to bet she never thought of herself as a leader.
As moms, we get so bogged down in the day-to-day business of raising a family that we don’t feel like leaders of anything, except maybe the cleanup crew. That just isn’t the case! If you have children, you are their leader. Other than God, you are the most important leader they will ever have.
But in order to be important, you have to feel important. Many mothers have adopted an “I’m just the mom” mind-set that needs to be replaced with an “I have the most important job in the world” attitude. Modern society and the media are largely responsible for this negative view of motherhood. For example, look at the way we have come to view the word homemaker.
In Kentucky, the state where I live, we have “homemakers clubs.” Last year I was honored with an invitation to be the keynote speaker at the annual state meeting of the Kentucky Homemakers Association. Before my speech I was conversing with one of the ladies in charge when the topic of membership came up. “Most of our members are older women,” she told me. “We have a hard time recruiting young women, and part of the reason is our name: ‘homemakers.’ It’s outdated and old-fashioned. Some states have changed their club’s name to something more modern and catchy, but so far we’ve been unable to convince Kentucky members to do so. I believe that we could reach the younger generation if our club’s name wasn’t something they associate with their grandmothers.”
In other words, being a “homemaker” isn’t cool anymore. Or is it? It depends on what standards you use to measure success. While the word itself may be old-fashioned, the definition of what a homemaker does will never be outdated. Yes, we do things differently now than our grandmothers did. Thank goodness we don’t have to spend our days hand-washing laundry at the creek or hauling in wood to cook on a wood stove. But while we perform some chores differently, mothers still do many of the same tasks where our children are concerned. Our husbands may help us, or we may hire help, but in most cases, the woman is still in charge of taking care of the home and the children. Mom is the director of her home, as well as the director of finances, the director of information, the director of support services, and the director of nursing. Truly, mothers are VIPs, aren’t they?
Being a Positive Home Director may sound complicated and overwhelming, but in this book our respected teacher, the Proverbs 31 Woman, will teach us all the leadership skills we need. Supplementing what we learn from her, we will learn from other women in the Bible, including six “snapshots” of biblical women and the positive leadership skills displayed in their lives.
Hebrews 13:7–8 gives us a clear directive as we begin our six-step course: “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
That’s how we obtain our PhD! We study biblical leaders and the outcome of their lives. Then we imitate their faith and the positive leadership skills they exhibit.