From a young age, I desired to be the boss of a business. To me, being the boss meant being successful; being the best there was. It was a popular image being portrayed in the media at the time, particularly in the 1980’s
When I completed school, I joined a corporation and started working on being a boss. I quickly realized that the team boss had a section leader over him, who had a division leader, and so on. When I looked at the top of the pyramid I realized everyone at the top was old.
I left to join a small publishing company and quickly rose to the CEO role. While this fulfilled a dream, it left me wanting more—to sit on boards and run larger businesses.
And so began a journey. Along the way, as expected, there were hurdles to be overcome—until I experienced an awakening.
In the mid-1990’s, I concluded that what I was doing, was not the purpose that I had in mind for my life. It was not the purpose for my existence. After some soul searching I realized that I wanted to have more direct input into developing people. Which led me back to the university to study teaching.
Teaching has its own images. For a me, it meant taking significant pay cuts which effects a young family. It meant working in an industry dominated by females and dealing with the stereotyping that comes with that.
In the field of teaching, most of the males gravitate toward leadership roles, which I followed for a while, and which pulled me back out of the reason I went into teaching.
Now I spend my time teaching students and coaching young teachers, as they begin the journey into teaching. My roles include some pastoring and some community leadership, however, these are based on the concept of mentoring and helping people develop their potential.
As I mentor young men, I talk with them about their passions and interests. About the jobs, they want to do, not the ones society or family has picked out for them. I encourage them to take a risk and try something, especially when you are young.
We discuss the sacrifices that needed to be made. It meant that my wife had to go back to work sooner than desired after we had children.
I had to ensure that I was comfortable with my wife earning more than me. There have been many questions about finances, overcoming the perceptive in society that the husband has to earn more. These viewpoints are slowly changing in society, as men speak out.
Most importantly for young men, is for them to find something that they are happy doing, and working towards that. For me, I am happy with where I am at the moment, but still have dreams and things I want to do. I see it as a journey that I take to fulfill my purpose and happiness regardless of what society says I can or should do.
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Photo credit: Getty Images