Father Knows Best – The Dad Approach to Leadership

By Gretchen Pettet

MMG was founded in 2011 by Chuck Aranda and his son, Josh. A few years later, another brother, Jeremy, joined the organization. Together, they lead Mission Matters Group with the same care, conviction and compassion that they lead their families.

Dads are special

Often, dads get a bad rap. Sitcoms portray them as bumbling fools and sometimes they play second fiddle to moms who run the day to day routine at home, but dads have their own unique way of showing they care and inspire their children. They inject humor (sometimes inappropriately) and encourage adventure. They get ice cream when it should be bedtime. They rough house to toughen up their kids, but provide stability and, in their physical presence alone, offer security. Let’s face it, dads are special.

Chuck’s children are all out of the house, Jeremy is in the thick of things raising five young children and Josh and his wife are expecting their first baby later this year. While each is at a different stage of fatherhood, and they all have their own style, their approach is part of what makes working here special. The good news is what they do and how they do it can just as easily be applied in any organization.

The dad approach to leadership

Get out there.

Who taught you to ride your bike or drive? Who spent hours in the driveway rebounding your free throws? Who led you on your first trek through the woods? In many households, it was dad. Like dads, a good manager encourages you to put yourself out there and try new things. No place is this more true than in a small business or nonprofit. We all wear different hats so it’s critical for the survival of the organization, but it’s also required for individual growth.

I’ve got your back.

Growing up, my dad carried me back to the car when our camping site was flooded. In my house now, the kids know to call dad when the bogeyman shows up at night. No matter the predicament, one can usually count on dad to come to the rescue. The same is true at work. Employees are more willing to take risks when they know they won’t be hung out to dry. Taking on a new assignment can feel vulnerable for staff. They might find themselves wondering “what if I can’t do this?” Employees need to know they can take calculated risks without fear of reprisal or threat of termination. They need to know that management isn’t waiting for them to fail but rather helping them succeed and grow.

You’ve got this.

Dads aren’t always known to be the most vocal supporters, but their quiet concern and support is fundamental for kids to be willing to take risks. Watch a young child on the soccer field some time. You’ll see them look to the sideline, making eye contact with dad for the encouragement to keep going. Good managers encourage their staff. It can be motivating for employees and it reinforces desired behaviors.

Focus on the fundamentals.

Countless hours of free throws or batting practice demonstrate to children the importance of the basics. The same is true in business. What’s your core business? How do you get better at it? What standardization and processes do you have in place to ensure you are doing your best consistently? Strong leaders know this, and while encouraging growth and development, they don’t lose sight of the fundamentals. You grow your business with new ideas and risk-taking. You sustain your business with the fundamentals like planning, directing and overseeing the operation and fiscal health of the organization.

I care about you.

Tuck-ins at the end of a long day, high fives coming off the field and a bear hug in the morning go a long way in ensuring kids know dad cares. It’s equally important that managers let their employees know they are valued and cared for as a human being. The best managers not only show their staff they care, but also find the words to articulate it in a meaningful way. They build policy and culture that reinforces how they feel about their staff.

We are lucky at Mission Matters Group. While not paternalistic or patronizing, our founders and leadership team bring the best of what the best dads have to offer.  Father really does know best.

We hope you had a Great Father’s Day!

#Dadmirable #dad #FathersDay #mmgstl #ThingsDadsSay #StrongerTogether

Father Knows Best – The Dad Approach to Leadership

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