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Show You How to Do This Son (Daughter)

“Show you how to do this son”, are the words Jay Z said in the hood classic song, Show You How. Although Jay Z used the term son in the chorus, I thought about the song when I was teaching my daughter how to do a front handspring. What made me think about the song was that as a parent your children look for you to be their leader. Here I was (a 41-year-old man) feeling like I am going to break my bones just to put a smile on my 6-year-old daughter’s face. Once I did my handspring, she immediately attempted to do not only one but two. After it was all over, I could not stop laughing thinking about my effort to lead by example.

Enjoying a good laugh also made me think about my friend’s effort to literally show his son how to face his fears. During a family trip to Lake George, I watched my friend Dwight Williams (no relation) jump into the lake to show his son that he should not only face his fears but to also enjoy life. Although this may not seem that important, Dwight jumped in the middle of a 32-mile long lake not knowing how to swim. The significance of seeing this man dive in the middle of the lake to encourage his young son to face his fears not only shows his will to be a great parent but it also demonstrates the role of a leader which is to lift someone else up.

I am sharing this story because Dwight’s actions are what leaders should do. A good leader has the ability to assess a situation and take control by leading by example. Over the years I have watched countless so-called leaders unable to capitalize in leadership moments. Ultimately, they were unable to capitalize during leadership moments because they have not prepared themselves to lead by example. They have not studied how to seek out conflicting views and provide logical alternatives for solving them.

According to business guru, Stephen Covey, good leaders are like trim tabs. A trim tab helps a helmsman effortlessly steer a ship no matter the pressure. In other words, being a trim tab is being able to take action for good. Business and entertainment mogul, Russell Simmons is a great example of an individual who has been a trim tab to younger moguls such as Sean “Puffy” Combs and Shawn “Jay Z” Carter. For example, during the height of Russell’s fashion company (Phat Farm) he broke an exclusive partnership contract to help Puffy and Jay Z clothing companies Sean John and Rocawear utilize his partners to make and distribute their clothing. Russell’s willingness to help Puffy and Jay Z not only demonstrates how leaders are supposed to help people grow but it also shares his moral obligation like Dwight to show those after him how to do it son.

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