Why You Should Not 'Lead By Example'

Why You Should Not 'Lead By Example'

Why You Should Not 'Lead By Example'

When we look out into the world and consider the culture we live in, we see a world that is relaying a bunch of messages to our kids.

One of the things the world is telling them is that, in order to be a strong, successful leader, they need to be pushy, authoritative, and domineering. For a lot of sports figures, actors and artists, It’s all about leading LOUD.

Let’s teach our daughters that being a leader isn’t about telling people what to do or by pushing people around.

To do this, take her back to the story of the first man and the first woman in Genesis 1.

God gave a mandate to His created beings in verses 27 and 28:

Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.

Here is what He said to both men and women:

Be fruitful.


Replenish the earth.

Subdue the earth.

With regard to ruling, rule over the animals.

He did not say that we should rule over each other. However, a lot of the time, dominance over others is how people approach leadership.

Whether it’s the ruler of a nation, company managers, or kids on a playground, those in charge assert their authority over others who’ve been placed beneath them in the hierarchy. At times they oppress, take advantage of, or marginalize others simply because they are in charge.

As women, we really have an incredible opportunity to educate our girls about God’s initial mandate for his children and to stand in agreement with it.

Challenge: Introduce your girl to the idea of leading by design, not example. Here are three talking points to get you started:

  1. God empowered his created beings, male and female, to take charge and rule the earth. Not to dominate each other, but to work in collaboration with each other for the greater good of humanity and to usher in His glory “on earth as it is in Heaven.” The way God calls both men and women to lead has so little to do with our own authority and everything to do with His.
  1. Both genders are called to leadership and they are designed differently for those rolesHelp your girl understand that her feminine wiring is different than the masculine wiring.  She can live fully into His design as she aims to influence the world and make a difference in her home, neighborhood, school, community, and beyond.
  1. It is God’s will that both men and women would lead from their God-given design. When we educate our children about their own design and how it differs from their masculine or feminine counterparts, we teach them to celebrate both genders and how our differences don’t separate us: they actually fit us well together and are complementary in nature. This understanding will invite both genders to lead from their giftings, strengths, and values.

As your daughter grows, she is going to be given opportunities to influence and positively impact the world around her. There will be opportunities for her to create and innovate, as well as collaborate with, support, and encourage others.

Action Step: Spend some time with her this week.

First, ask her this question:

What is one thing that makes you different from everyone else?

Then, talk to her about how that difference is actually a strength.

Finally, explain to her that strong character and the skills necessary for leadership build over time. Everyone is a unique expression of His creativity, including her.

Have an awesome day!

If you’re looking for ways to dive deeper into connecting with your daughter and helping her gain perspective and purpose in her own life, be sure to check out my FREE video series, 3 Keys To Unlocking Her True PotentialI can’t wait to share these topics with you. They have transformed my approach to motherhood and mentoring my girl . . .


  • Hi Erin, thank you so much for this wonderful gift. I am personally enlightened as a girl in my early 20s. The topic of toxic masculinity and feminism have left people confused in their respective roles. I love how you’ve said we were not created to rule over others but rather over the animals. Hence, we work together towards empowering each other.

    Laura on

  • Erin, thank you for sharing this word. In a time where gender “equality” is really being pushed as a competition of one is better than the other, I share the same belief that we need to teach our girls the complement of the genders. We each have strengths and they compliment not prove one is better or can do it better. We need each other. It is how God designed us. And it is really most enjoyable that way!

    Jen on

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