Leading In The Hardest Hours

[This is a guest post by Zechariah Newman. Zechariah is a Figaro’s Pizza franchisee, writer, and speaker. You can check out his blog here and follow him on Twitter or Facebook. I encourage you to check out his brand new book Dreams that Last: Building a rock solid foundation to pursuing dreams with a family.]

It had been a long, hard day. Beaten down by the daily grind, I am driving home trying to restore my energy. Even though I have worked a long day and led my team, my greatest leadership calling and opportunity is awaiting me. As a husband and father my family should not get the leftovers of my life, rather all of who I am. I am ashamed to say that sometimes they get a grumpy and tired version of myself. One that is distracted and not present with them. My short window with them is not what I wish it was. Sometimes though I am alive, attentive and I am the man that God wants me to be. If you struggle with being an engaged leader at home these 4 things will help you.

1. Worship music. In the car on the way home this is all that I listen to and I believe you should too. This draws us closer to our Lord and Savior. It makes sure that we are listening to something positive and uplifting. The world can pull us down all day. We need that time of worshiping the Creator to realign ourselves with Him.

2. Eat something. This is something that is simple, yet powerful for me. Have a snack in the car on the way home such as some type of protein bar, banana or anything that gives you energy. I get home around seven o’clock so if I don’t eat something, my inner Fred Flintstone comes out. Put fuel back into your tank as it will help your attitude and energy level.

3. Plan. We all know that at work we will be much more effective if we write out and plan the day. I have a sinking suspicion that most of us don’t do this with our family time. It is important to show time and attention to everyone in the house. I have witnessed people come home from work and go straight to sitting in front of the television. Seek out your family and at least be intentional about showing time and care for your spouse and kids. Don’t be strangers under one roof.

4. Kiss. Number one in my house is my wife. Number one in your house should be your spouse. I learned this from my parents and we implement this in our house as it helps to realign our relationship; the seven second kiss. Yeah you heard right, seven seconds and not some drive-by smooch. When I walk in the door, my wife and I walk straight to each other and kiss for seven seconds. By the time we are done, the kids are grabbing our legs and wanting attention. We have connected and the weight of both of our days has dissipated.

Nothing on this list is rocket science, but I assure you it is effective. Let’s live life the way it was intended with our priorities lived out. Refuel your body, mind, and spirit so that you can be the spouse and parent you are supposed to be. Be blessed on your journey.

Question: How do you refuel to be engaged at home?

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

  • http://www.struggletovictory.com/ Kari Scare

    Forwarded this post to several of my guy friends, including my husband. I did so not because I am a wife saying “yeah, you need to do this” but because this post is a guy talking how guys talk. No frills, just the basics & easy to apply. Would be interesting to have a post focusing on the flip side of this, either from a working mom coming home or a stay-at-home mom when her husband gets home.

    • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

      Thanks Kari. That would make for an interesting post. I know like all couples my wife and I have different perspectives. A couple of the things that is hard for her is stopping what she is in the middle of to kiss me. The other is that my kids get really loud and amped up when I get home. They are still young so I am a rock star still:)

  • http://www.barbraveling.com/ Barb Raveling

    Lol, I love any leadership list that has “Kiss” as one of the four main points on it. :) This is such a great list. I’m with Kari – would also enjoy seeing the flip side of this list from the stay-at-home person’s perspective. :)

    • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

      Haha us men are simple a kiss makes us want to conquer the world Barb:)

      • http://www.redletterbelievers.com/ David Rupert

        That’s the truth!

  • http://www.redletterbelievers.com/ David Rupert

    When I come home I look at the distant mountains. Other workplaces, I’ve looked at hills. And I reflect on Psalm 121, “I will look up the hills from where I get my strength.” just that little exercise is enough to help me focus …

    • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

      Love that verse David. Thanks for the tip I love it:)

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Great passage!

  • http://theregoi.com/ floyd

    What a great post! Sometimes we over think things and believe things are as difficult as rocket science. Your wisdom proves otherwise.

    Seven seconds huh? Better stop and get some breath mints! Thanks for a wonderful post.

    • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

      Thanks Floyd…I should have added the breath mints:) Seven seconds a drive by kiss doesn’t do anything:) I find we as humans love to over complicate things just like the Israelites did with the ten commandments.

  • kentsanders

    Zechariah, thanks for this intriguing and challenging post! I love the idea of the 7-second kiss when you come home. :) I am the complete opposite of you when it comes to listening to worship music. That probably sounds strange coming from a Professor of Worship, but I’m around so much worship- and music-oriented stuff all day, I usually listen to podcasts in the car. Different people need different things, I guess.

    • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

      Thanks Kent. The kiss is hard to keep habit. It is easy to shortcut but is a major part of my wife and I’s connection. I would not want to listen to my job on the way home either:) that totally makes since.

      • kentsanders

        Congrats, by the way, on being on the EOF podcast – that is quite awesome!

        • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

          Thank you Kent!

  • http://sparkvoice.wordpress.com/ DS

    I’ve definitely found the snack thing to be helpful. I get home earlier than you, but I’m still looking at a 15 hour day including my commute. Decompressing and refueling are super important if I want any chance of supporting my family when I get home.

    • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

      That is a long day DS. Glad you are thinking about the refuel.

  • Dan Erickson

    Good post. I’m a single dad, so I have no wife to kiss right now. But I make sure to make special plans with my daughter, something out of the mundane. That helps to keep from getting stuck in grumpy land.

    • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

      That is great that you are proactive Dan. That helps fend off grumpy land for sure:)

  • http://www.startgainingmomentum.com/ Ludvig Sunström

    I don’t have a wife or kids. But reading this post almost got me sold on it. Haha!

    • http://zechariahnewman.com/ Zechariah Newman

      Haha! Bookmark it for later Ludvig;)

      • http://www.startgainingmomentum.com/ Ludvig Sunström

        I’ll be sure to return to it in X years ;)

  • http://dosomethingcool.net/ Steve

    Great thoughts. I’m a big proponent of your point on kissing. That gets me energized – plus it just makes me feel good overall. My wife and i try to spend a little portion of each day doing that. It helps us feel connected and grounded.

    Something else I do is clear my head. If i have a lot of things to think about or things I need to do, it can overwhelm my mind. Sometimes just clearing things out can help keep me focused and energized.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Kissing is defiantly a good thing. My wife and myself make sure to kiss throughout the day. I like Zech’s point about kissing right when you get home (For 7 seconds), I’m going to implement that one.

      Thank you for reading and adding to the list.

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    I like the concept of music, Zechariah. I’ve found that can really help me set my mood.

    • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

      Me too Loren. It’s nourishing to me. Thank you for taking the time to share.