What is Manliness?

BEARDS, PLAID, CIGARS, and SCOTCH!!!! That’s it, Short post huh?

Just kidding! I think we all have different perspectives on what manliness is and many of those are skewed for whatever reason (whether other’s opinion or the media). I would contest that manliness isn’t all that easy to define. I’m willing to talk it out a bit to get a more optimistic view of how all of us can be manly without too much stigma.

I believe one of the most manly things we can do as men is be a leader.  That is a huge responsibility and isn’t well defined. Many see Leadership as an assigned role (CEO, Manager, or Coach). These are not roles that entitle people to be a leader, they are opportunities to lead. Many people who step into these positions use it as a pedestal for running things and telling people what to do.  A leader can wear any number of hats, they could be someone who rallies the troops toward a unified outcome or vision, some men lead by example, others lead by teaching, while some lead by FOLLOWING (yes following). Have you ever met someone that just makes everything easier at work, in your extended family, church, neighborhood, etc.? Oftentimes, these people don’t have a position of power. But instead they dive in with a servant’s mentality for the better good of whatever is going on. I have a lot of these people in my life and they teach me more about life, leadership, and contentment than most people I know. They tend to make difficult things easier or less of a burden because of their desire to help with no apparent benefit to them.

I try to lead in all of these ways though I fall short all of the time. You too can lead in whatever arena you are in. I want to challenge you to take 1 or 2 steps out of your comfort zone in the ways you lead. If you lead by example, try being more vocal with a teaching heart (this could breed trust, connected-ness, and maybe attract people that want to lead by following) to see what happens. If you lead by creating this grand vision for the people who trust you, I challenge you to get your hands dirty a bit and see the process through as a person who leads by following so you can align with the other stages of the unified goal. If you follow, I’m convicted to push you to find a vision you can proactively share with others who can follow your plan.  Lets see what happens guys.

Fathers, your sons and daughters need an example of what a good man and leader is. This starts by respecting and loving their Mother. I know what some of you divorced dads are thinking (Just stop). Love has many faces, it isn’t a feeling, its a decision. I love my friends, my sisters, cousins, and my Wife’s closest friends but it has nothing to do with the type of love I feel for my wife.  You would be amazed at how much better a mate your sons will be with that example and how much better the men your daughters will choose will be. They are watching!

Husbands, my advice is no matter how you lead your family, empowering your wife might be the best way to lead. She needs to hear how smart, strong, sexy, resilient, and how nice the(ir) _____ looks/smells/tastes/feels/etc. (yes, that last one applies in the bedroom too 😉  )

Son’s. Pay attention, ask questions, Listen and pay attention whether you want to or not, find out where you fit best in this world.  Leadership will no doubt be a part of your life, make sure you figure it out earlier than later.

We all see leadership connect with our lives all the time, I hope you can try something new and better your relationships. I’m pretty sure its worth it Fellas!

I am going to start a Hashtag for us to use when things in our social media circle relate well to being a man, please feel free to use it!

#ManHandlingLife