The True Measure Of Success

According to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics, “families dissolve at a greater rate in the United States than in any other major industrialized country.” I also have read that we “lead in the number of fathers absent from home.” For several years I have said we live in a fatherless generation.  

Over the past seven years my jobs and volunteering have primarily been working with teens and young adults. One of the top discussions I have with young people is in the area of family. I have counseled and talked with hundreds of young people about their parents being divorced, lack of family structure, and their dysfunctional home life.

I believe a leader’s first responsibility is to lead their house well. To manage their time, energy, and priorities so they have a balanced life. A balance between work and home is essential to leading successfully.

It doesn’t matter if your business or team is seeing results and moving forward if your home life is falling apart. It’s not worth gaining more possessions or power if you lose your family in the process.  The true measure of success can be found on how well you lead your home life. If we want to see and have true success then we must:

  • Live a balanced life.
  • Remember the most valuable things in our life.
  • Make family a priority.
  • Frequently disconnect from technology and distractions.
  • Daily take time to communicate and connect with loved ones.
  • Schedule family time.

Choosing to focus on family will lead to having a sustainable family life that will leak into all other areas. We should remember what Pat Riley says, “Sustain a family life for a long period of time then you can sustain success for a long period of time.”

Question: How do you balance between work and your family?

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

  • When my girls were younger, I made time for them. In all my work and schedule as a pastor, I don’t ever remember missing a game they were involved in. I believe it comes down to priorities. Now that my girls are gone, my wife and I still make time for each other.

    • Anonymous

      It is so important to take time for your family and wife. Being married for almost 5 years we have done a good job so far with setting time for each other. The next stage of our life, having a boy, is only going to be even more important to keep our life balanced and remembering our priority’s( Which is each other). Thank you for reading and commenting.

  • It’s why Paul told Timothy that leaders in the church must manage their families well – if you can’t manage your own home, there’s no way you will effectively manage or lead someplace else.

    • Anonymous

      I just read that passage this morning. It’s such an important thing every person needs to remember.

  • Love it, absolutely agree. I love what you wrote here…”lead their house well. To manage their time, energy, and priorities so they have a balanced life”
    When our life is over we won’t be thinking about the hours we put in the office, we will be thinking about the time we spent with people who really mattered.

    • Anonymous

      Glad you enjoyed the post. At the end of my life the main thing I want to be known for is that I was a good husband and father.

  • Joel Fortner

    It’s interesting how we can be so intentional about your careers and so neglectful of our home life. Recognizing the harm in this, my wife and I try to be very deliberate about our time together in order to feed our marriage and establish the foundation for the rest of our lives.

    • Anonymous

      Being intentional and deliberate about spending time with your loved ones is key. Thank you for sharing.

  • This is just one of those struggles that seem to be ubiquitous. I think the danger is because we see our children’s lives as so long and all of our crises as so urgent and immediate. We never intend to neglect our family but just ignore them “this one time” which turns into one more time which turns into a pattern.

    • Anonymous

      Such a great point Loren. Those little times often turn into bigger times away from our loved ones. Which leads to a divided house and future regret. Thanks for adding to the discussion.

  • Jim F.

    I literally schedule my family into the evenings so that I can tell people who want to schedule something at a time that is going to take away from my family that I already have something scheduled then – it is something I heard Bill Hybels say years ago and so I did it and it has stuck. It has really helped in maintaining a balance.

    • Anonymous

      Scheduling your family time first is such a great way to make sure you have proper family time. This also shows your family and other people where your priority’s are at. Thank you for sharing.

      I really enjoy listening to Bill Hybels. He is such a great example of a Godly leader.

    • This is an example more people should follow. Too many people get wrapped up with work and lose sight for what life is really about. At the end of it all, when we only have a few more precious moments left in this life, we’ll all wish we had spent more time with family and not at the office. They are so precious.

      • Anonymous

        The sad thing is that many people discover the importance of family and home life at an old age. This is something every person needs to set as a priority. Thank you for stopping by.

      • Very true! My father owned his own business, I’m so glad that he and my mother showed me the value of balancing life. My memories of him are precious, I am so grateful he was hardworking and that he put his God/family first.

        • Anonymous

          That was great your parents showed the the importance of a balanced life( Even though owning a business takes lots of time). It brings up another great point, which is that it passes onto the next generation.

          • It is my husband and I’s prayer that we pass on good Christian values to our son.

  • Bradley J Moore

    Oldest story in the book. I think sometimes the problem is the spouse who allows it to go on without putting up a stink. Then, of course, are the husbands who don’t really want to be with their wives or family to begin with, so pack the schedule to keep busy. Plenty of that going around, too. So i think it’s more than just about spending time with family – it’s about building intimacy and facing one’s fears and sharing life and growing in relationships with family.

    • Anonymous

      Having time to build intimacy and knowing each other is very important. Thank you stopping by.

  • Susan

    One of the most important things missing from the modern American family is dinner time. People are so busy with activities that they never sit down at the table and share the fellowship of good food and conversation. When everybody in a family is going a different direction all the time, they never really get to know each other. It is sad! In my family we always had the stability of the evening meal together. I thank God for parents who wanted to know me, and wanted me to know them.

    • Anonymous

      Such a true point Susan. We over look the importance of spending dinner together because of technology and busyness. Taking time to connect through dinner is a great way to connect and bond together. Thank you for reading and sharing.

    • You are so right! Before having my son my husband and I were guilty of eating in front of the TV, but since he has come along we make a point of having dinner as a family in what used to be a place that caught our clutter (dining table).
      While our son is too little now to understand dinner time, we feel it is important habit to start. I must say it has brought us closer together.

  • I especially like your point regarding disconnecting from technology and distractions. I think materialism has help erode many family values. So many families spend more time in front of the TV than communicating together.

    Did you watch the movie Courageous? It was good and it deals with this issue.

    • Anonymous

      It might be hard to disconnect from technology and distractions but it’s worth the value it brings. I have not seen the movie yet, but plan on watching it soon. I have heard it’s a good one. Thank you for stopping by and sharing.

  • Great post, Dan. If we can’t lead at home, how can we expect to lead anywhere else?

    • Anonymous

      So true. It’s easy to say but harder to do. Thank you for stopping by.

  • Powerful message Dan.

    I had an experience in a previous job where I would have had to compromise family time. I was offered a promotion to assistant manager. During the interview, I mentioned that Sundays were family time and I had a commitment to attend church with my wife. I would also have to confer with her about the position.

    Suffice to say, I did not get the position and I no longer work for the company. Worked out well in the long run as I was able to strike out on my own and then got hired under a new company at a much better wage.

    • Anonymous

      It looks like you made the right choice and it paid off in the long run. Having church and family time is so important. Thank you for sharing.