Great leaders are being celebrated in many parts of the world today - happy Father's Day.
For years I have held to the view that one of the best leadership approaches is the patriarchal style, since leading employees is keenly similar in skill and mind-set to a father raising his children.
A father has a duty to raise healthy children who maintain the moral decency and welfare of the family, bring honour upon their relatives, and respectfully participate in family life. In effect, a patriarch is expected to be a good man as well as a strong leader whom the family can depend on for well-being and to provide for the future.
By swapping the reference from children to employees, it is clear the duties of father and leader are strikingly similar.
By answering the question "what does it take to be a great father?" we may just answer what it means to be a great leader.
As we embark on this, I am mindful that not everyone had a good "father" example.
In those cases, people may have an idea of what it takes to be a great dad from television, in the same way that best-selling management books influence the perception of what great leaders do.
Now, picture your father or the best father you can imagine. What is it that he does so well?
Prepares his children to succeed in the future
Understanding that future employee success results in current employee performance, great leaders are hands-on in developing their employees' ability and attitude.
Spends quality time with his children
Great leaders have time for employees, knowing that trust, mind-set, inspiration and capability are largely built through personal time. They do not delegate or abdicate time with their employees.
Is supportive and loyal
Great leaders build loyalty by being loyal to their employees. And they create an environment that replaces fear with care and security.
Accepts that his children are not exactly like him
Great leaders know that each employee is unique, and they value the strength that can come from diversity while nurturing individual strengths.
Great leaders share their experience and insight with their employees in ways that build employee knowledge and acumen.
Protects his children
Great leaders put their employees first, and the employees know that their leader "has their back".
Challenges his children to be the best
Great leaders encourage employees to overcome "false" fears, and they inspire their employees to do more and to be more than they think is possible.
Leads by example
Great leaders do exactly this, they lead. And every word they speak and move they make is an example to be copied.
Practising the patriarchal style of leadership will result in effective workplace relationships, improved performance, and increased employee engagement and retention.
The success of this style is not just in what a patriarch does, but also in how he does it.
As a leader, you can copy the actions listed above, but your behaviour matters as much as your actions. So it needs to be rooted in respect, belief, honesty, and fairness.
Thanks, Dad, for the example. Happy Father's Day, and happy leading.
Dr Tommy Weir is an adviser on leadership and is the author of The CEO Shift