1 Corinthians 11:1 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.
There are defining moments in a dad’s life that would shape how his kids would see him. It can be a success story or a story of how a man responds to a test given to him.
I love my dad. I respect him. He is a hard worker who came from a poor family in the province and works hard to make it big in the city of Manila. He did not finish college, he is not fluent in English, and he does not dress well but he was a success in the eyes of many people.
But the defining moment for me in terms of my dad’s leadership came at one of the lowest points of his life. My dad is a fire volunteer. He loves helping others in need. Because of his dedication, he was given a position of prominence in the fire volunteer’s association. My dad did not mind the praises of people, he was there because of his genuine care for the people who lost their homes because of fire.
During his heydays in the fire volunteer association, he was set to be the next president of the association. We were so happy for him because he worked tirelessly to serve the organization and donate big sums of money to help. But something fishy happened. Instead of being president of the organization, he was bypassed by the board and gave the position to a much more successful, bigger donor than my dad. Many in the organization were shocked by the development. We, the family, did not also know how to react to the development.
I remember the family asking our dad how he is taking it – the politics inside a non-profit, volunteer organization. He smiled and said, “it’s okay. I am not after the position. All I want to do is help. And if that guy who wants the position wants it that badly, he can have it. He can give more finances to the cause of the organization.”
That was a leadership moment for me. It does not matter who gets the credit – it is how we can help the organization achieve its goal.
That day, my dad revealed a part of him to us. He might not be the hero outside the walls of our house but he became a hero to all of us – his family. No wonder I want to be like him when I grow up.
To lead well, you must lead yourself first. What you can control is who you are and how you respond to the challenges that come your way. My dad did that. He can control how he would respond to the politics inside the organization. He choose to look at the bigger picture and it helped serve others around him better.