Don’t Feel Sorry for Me

This article originally appeared in The Good Men Project on May 16, 2017.

I recently had a conversation with someone and the subject naturally turned to our children.  When I said that I had one child with special needs and two other children, whom we adopted from another country, who needed extra time and attention to catch up on basic educational skills, his first words were “I feel so sorry for you.”  Why I said.  “Because of your poor luck,” he replied.  I told him the same thing that I am telling you.  Don’t feel sorry for me, my kids are doing just fine.   Continue reading “Don’t Feel Sorry for Me”

A Lesson in Parent Leadership: Answering the Call

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I recently read an article titled “I Didn’t Want To Be A Mom, But I Had Kids Anyway” about a mom who initially was hesitant about becoming a parent but after having difficulty conceiving, going through postpartum depression, and the normal trials of motherhood, now has a level of love for her children that she didn’t think was possible.  How did she get to that point?  Simply, she answered the call. Continue reading “A Lesson in Parent Leadership: Answering the Call”

Do You Really Want to be a Leader?

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This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post on February 8, 2017.

For the past few weeks, I have been hosting live Facebook video segments called “Ask the Author” where I answer questions that people have about my latest book, Discerning God’s Purpose:  A Father’s Journey from Tragedy to Triumph.  Some have compared my book to one by Pastor Rick Warren called The Purpose Driven life:  What on Earth Am I Here For.  While I am obviously flattered with the comparison, I tell people that while the concept is similar, my book is actually a book about leadership.  While I do talk about my faith in the book, the central focus is how discovering my purpose made me a better leader. Continue reading “Do You Really Want to be a Leader?”

Leaders Molding Leaders

Leadership concept on cork board. Wooden office desk with a big mess
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This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post on October 19, 2016.

As a leader, it is good to occasionally take time out to reflect on the impact that you have on those who surround you.  During difficult moments, sometimes leaders get down on themselves and think that what they are doing (or trying to do) doesn’t matter.  Well, I’m here today to say that you matter; not just for the moment but also for the legacy that you are leaving behind. Continue reading “Leaders Molding Leaders”

An Example of Servant Leadership

Diane and Melanie KW Austin
Diane Johnson, Melanie Kennemann, and Jim Kennedy/Photo courtesy of Melanie Kennemann

This article originally appeared in the Huffington Post on September 7, 2016.

My family moved to Austin, Texas four years ago to take advantage of educational opportunities for my special needs daughter.  Although I continued to commute back to the Washington, DC area for work, I knew that at some point, I would need to be in Austin on a full-time basis.  I wanted to transition to a career that would give me the flexibility to be a fully involved parent as well as the opportunity to chart my own path. Continue reading “An Example of Servant Leadership”