Training Up Leaders
by Rick Johnson
September 10th, 2015

“Pray not for lighter burdens, but for stronger backs.”Theodore Roosevelt

I think all dads want their sons to grow up to be leaders. They would like them to be strong leaders of their families, their communities, and in their spiritual walk.

I believe leaders are developed, not born. But teaching boys how to be leaders requires intentionality. As a culture we are losing our most valuable resource—male leadership. Paul Coughlin says, “Young men have grown up in an age of cultural suspicion, and they have found that it is difficult to exercise any kind of leadership without raising someone’s ire.”

Cultures that allow families and communities to exist with no stable, healthy male authority and leadership devolve into chaos. Healthy masculine leadership protects the weak. It uses its influence and power to provide safe, life-giving encouragement and provision. It uses its strength to build others up to be all the things they could not be without that force of good lifting them upon its shoulders.

Boys need to hear words like strong, brave, talented, and noble in order to assimilate their duty as leaders. They need to have the adults in their lives intentionally speak affirming language that inspires and uplifts them to willingly assume the mantle that leadership imposes upon him. They need to be taught to relish the satisfaction that duty and honor brings to a man.

We need to encourage boys from a young age that God has a special plan for their lives.

We need to train them early to be leaders and prepare them for the responsibility that comes with that role.

We need to be intentional in equipping them with a bigger vision of what life is about rather than just letting them “settle” for whatever life throws at them.

We need to inspire them to use the gifts and powers that God has endowed them with to make a difference in the world. When we do that not only will men become men again, but the world will be better because of it.


How are you intentionally preparing your son to assume his role as leader in his home and marriage?

Rick Johnson is the founder of Better Dads. His passion for families has expanded his work to include influencing the whole family with life-changing insights on parenting, relationships, and personal growth. Rick is the best-selling author of 11 books on parenting, marriage, and masculinity. He is a popular keynote speaker at men’s and women’s conferences and retreats. 

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