Leadership, Family and Influence
"Any ruler, no matter how numerous his weapons or great his
wealth, must finally rule by other means. He must rule by
‘persuasion’, the ultimate weapon through which
influence on culture is produced and sustained. The truly
powerful leader must influence the minds of men."(i)
One of the organisational/business buzz words of this decade
is ‘leadership’. It’s a good buzzword which
potentially serves a powerful purpose if understood, and its
meaning respected. It infers the concept of ‘a
following’ (one could argue therefore that if no-one is
following, one may need to question whether in fact one is a
Traditionally – family, churches and education worked
(unofficially) together to reinforce the most important
influences on society. That’s all changed. And as the
‘divide and conquer’ phenomenon continues to ground
itself deeper and deeper into our social institutions, it becomes
obvious that gradualism (Fabian socialism) is embedded in the
hearts of our so-called leaders.
In short: leaders influence thinking. It is therefore sobering
to note that the most powerful model of leadership in the world
should be evident in our homes, but in many cases it is not.
Parents carry the responsibility for the children, but
no longer have the control.
In New Zealand (like most Western Nations) the attack on
‘the home’ continues through many
‘influences’ and ‘influencers’ both in
education and government: like the current Civil Union Bill
(which the NZ Govt are trying to rush through before the end of
the year). For our readers in other countries, you can interpret
the NZ experience into your own context.
Five reasons why the Civil Union Bill shouldn't be
1. Controversial social legislation shouldn't be passed in
such a hurry without the mandate of the people. Rushed law is bad
2. The Civil Union Bill is effectively same-sex marriage, and
is a forerunner to full same-sex marriage and adoption.
3. It is not the role of law to recognise love and commitment.
The Civil Union Bill provides state recognition and endorsement
for these unions, but doesn't grant any rights.
4. An alternative model should be considered, e.g. a regime
allowing any two people wishing to gain legal security the
opportunity to register their relationship (including family
5. Civil Unions will make same-sex and de facto couples
equivalent to marriage, and send a new message to society that
marriage doesn't matter, and that mums and dads are optional.
Running a training programme recently, I asked the course
participants to try to identify attitudes they may have which are
not conducive to creating happy and balanced home lives. One
young participant put his hand up and said "I think I have one. I
see my wife as a handbrake and my kids are really cramping my
style... I used to be happy as a single man".
I wish I could say that this is one of the only times I have
experienced such a sad attitude to the responsibility inherent in
leading a family.
We have a dearth of fathers who know what it means to be
fathers, who possess the values to lead their small community
into future and positive growth.
And of course without ‘the standard’, the
immovable Word of God to measure ones position against,
how can we even endeavour to ‘influence’ other
peoples thinking. The Apostle Paul set the tone and context by
which believers in Christ seek to influence minds: "For we must
all appear before the judgement seat of Christ... Knowing
therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men..."(iii)
As history has demonstrated, a relative
handful of human with strong ideas and a
determination to pursue them has an outsize impact on the rest of
Finally, King Solomon’s words are applicable for all
world-be leaders and influencers "The fear of the Lord is the
beginning (or principle part) of wisdom...".(v)
i) David Breese "Seven Men Who Rule The World From The
ii) Scott McMurray Maxim In s t i t u t e : http://www.maxim.org.nz/civilunions
iii) 2 Corinthians 5:10-11
iv) Time Magazine "100 people who shape our world" 26.04.04
v) Proverbs 1:7