There are times in leadership when you have to react in such a way as to get peopleâ€™s attention. In stage acting when you make gesture you exaggerate your movements and words so that those far away understand what the actor is seeking to convey. So there are some instances when a leader has to over react to show the significance of what has happened. Even when his temperament is â€œeven keel,â€ he must take up a few notches just to make a point.
In the instance I want to tell you about today it is with me as a father, the leader of my home. Caleb and Joshua got off the bus a couple of days ago as usual but upon entering the house Caleb disappeared. I knew something was up, because he always wants a snack. Joshua was more than willing to tell me what had happened earlier in their classroom. Joshua while cautious not to repeat the same motion told me that Caleb had held up his middle finger while the other fingers were held down, and made this gesture toward his teacher. He was copying another boy in the class.
In that instance I knew this was one of those times when the normal sit on the step, lose a toy, etcâ€¦ simply wasnâ€™t going to be impacting enough. I sent Caleb to his room until I had a second to think. There are times as a parent when you have to have a heavy hand and that was one of those instances. He needed to know that we donâ€™t disrespect adults, and we donâ€™t follow others if we donâ€™t know what they are leading us to do. Even if Caleb did not know what â€œthe birdâ€ means, he did know it was wrong and that is was disrespectful. I wanted him to remember this day and what happens when he crosses the line, and when he does something he knows would disappoint his father.
After his punishment we talked about what had happened and how not to make the same mistake again. We discussed at how God had given him to me to make sure that I raised him according to His ways, and how I would one day be held accountable for this.
When our boys entered the public school system last year I was concerned that they would see and be exposed to this kind of stuff all the time. But this is the first this year, and I donâ€™t even remember anything from last year. Figures it would be the last week of school!
The Take-Away Point: Some times you just have to go ballistic to make a point. But donâ€™t do it too much or people will think you are neurotic. This is a magic bullet you tuck away like Barney with a bullet in his pocket on Andy Griffith.