The Lost Art of the Handshake

The Lost Art of the Handshake

You wouldn’t think this sort of article would be necessary, would you?  Unfortunately, it is.  It seems that men shaking hands is a bit of a lost art.

Consider the handshake.  Historical customs indicate that the handshake is commonly done upon meeting, greeting, parting, offering congratulations, expressing gratitude, or completing an agreement. In sports or other competitive activities, it is also done as a sign of good sportsmanship. Its purpose is to convey trust, balance, and equality.

Let’s Start With the Basics

Handshake 1This is a handshake.

Handshake 2This is not.

Handshake 3Neither is this.

Handshake 5I don’t even know what this is!

Why does a handshake matter?

The importance of a good, strong, firm handshake cannot be overstated. When you shake hands with a leader you figure out pretty quickly what kind of person that you’re dealing with. If you are dealing with a confident person, a serious person, and a person not to be “trifled” with you will receive a solid, firm and strong handshake and you will receive direct eye-contact. If you experience something other than that, you may have doubts about the person you are greeting. Continue reading “The Lost Art of the Handshake”

Really Important Leaders


The elections are finally over. Some are happy. Some are not. Some are anxious. Some are scared. I have a mixture of all of those emotions. So, I am intentionally choosing to take a look today at one of the foundational leadership roles that exists. That is being a father. [shareable text=”What is the most important leadership role in society? It isn’t the POTUS. That is for sure. #POTUS #lvllc #leadership”]What is the most important leadership role in society? It isn’t the POTUS. That is for sure.[/shareable]

As fathers, we are the “go-to” guys of the family. There is a lot that is expected of us. We are given enormous responsibility and we are going to ultimately be accountable for the actions that we take as husbands and fathers.

How does that last sentence make you feel? Are you at peace with that statement? Or are you scared witless by the repercussions of it? Continue reading “Really Important Leaders”

Hello? Any leaders out there?

Where Are All The Leaders?

I “feel” (and we know how dangerous it is to operate on feelings) that there are fewer leaders now than in days gone by. It may or may not be so. But it seems that is the case. Leaders must be a lot like superheroes. I wonder where all of them have gone as well.

[shareable cite=”Kevin Bowser” text=”Leaders must be a lot like superheroes. I wonder where all of them have gone as well. #lvllc”]Leaders must be a lot like superheroes. I wonder where all of them have gone as well.[/shareable]

Why does there seem to be so few leaders on the local, national and international stage? Are they really there and I just don’t see them? If they are there, why don’t I see them or recognize them?

One of the characteristics that define a leader is that they are growing and developing other leaders around them. It has been said, and I agree, I truly great leader is defined more by the number of other leaders they create than the number of followers that they create.

So, what is the point and the leadership principle here?

The leadership principle is this. Continue reading “Hello? Any leaders out there?”

Are You Likable?

Are You Likable

I want to be liked. I think that everyone wants to be liked. Do you want to be liked?

The question today is this: Do we need to be liked to be an effective leader?

[shareable cite=”Kevin Bowser” text=”Do we need to be liked to be an effective leader? #lvllc”]Do we need to be liked to be an effective leader?[/shareable]

I am going to speak from a male perspective today. If you are a female, read on. It may be insightful for you to further see how men think and process information. But I am speaking today from a male viewpoint.

What is that point of view?

There is something inside a man that longs for respect. And I think that many, if not most men would choose respect over love if they had to make such a choice. So, what do we do with that reality? Continue reading “Are You Likable?”

Spring Break Ideas for Dad

Spring Break Ideas for Dad

According to recent magazine article, a Swiss company will take the ashes of a dead relative and turn them into a synthetic diamond that you can wear for less than $10,000. That is a little creepy.  But that’s one way to be remembered, I suppose.

I know many of us can’t take off all week and be with our children.  But Spring Break is upon us and this is a great week to make memories with your kids that will last a lifetime.  And you can do it without the “break” in Spring Break be the breaking of the bank!  In fact, some of the ideas won’t cost you a dime!

Spring Break week ends on Friday the 13th here in Humble, TX. So, here are 13 memory-making things to do with your kids this week: Continue reading “Spring Break Ideas for Dad”

What Qualities of Manliness Stand the Test of Time?

What Qualities of Manliness - 1Cosmopolitan Magazine began its publishing life as a quality family oriented magazine. Unfortunately it has evolved into a “Grocery Store Checkout” magazine that is chock full of what celebrity is being physically altered and what is their favorite food or sexual activity. None of which I am particularly interested in.

However, in August of 1902, a man by the name of Rafford Pyke wrote an article entitled, “What Men Like in Men.” In 1902 you could title an article that way and no one would laugh or even consider the double entendre that it would surely produce if it appeared today. Especially in a magazine like Cosmopolitan has evolved into. Don’t Google Rafford Pyke unless you are looking for the depressing story of his life, the realization that he himself did not act in an honorable manner, and the discovery that Pyke was not even his real name.

Consider what Pyke says: “If you were to ask the average man to tell you offhand just what qualities he likes in other men, he would probably boggle a good deal over his answer. His first impulse would be to say, “Oh, I don’t know!” which is with men a convenient formula for avoiding thought upon unexpected or (to them) uninteresting topics. A little later, after turning the matter over in his mind, he would give you a catalogue of qualities to which he would be willing to swear. His list, however, would bear a strong resemblance to the “hundred-best-book” lists made my persons who sincerely believe that they are expressing their own literary preferences, but who are actually indulging in a bit of intellectual pose. Just as these individuals mention the books which they feel they ought to enjoy reading rather than those which they really read, so the average man will name a number of qualities which he thinks he likes, rather than those which in his heart of hearts he actually does like.”

What Qualities of Manliness - 2It was much easier for Pyke to determine what men disliked in other men. And the character or quality that they disliked was that of being or acting like Continue reading “What Qualities of Manliness Stand the Test of Time?”

Financier, Friend or Father — Part Three

father-son-13_lIn parts one and two we looked at two of the many roles that a father plays.  We looked at him as financier where he has a role in being a provider for the family.  But we saw that being a provider is not what our family needs from us the most.  We then looked at his role as a friend and how hard it is to be something much more than our child’s buddy.  In this, our last installment of the series, I want to explore the most important role that a man will play in life and his relationship to his children.

Father – “Father knows best.”

>Boy, I really wish this last statement were true 100% of the time.  We all know it isn’t.  But at the end of the day, we are responsible.  President Harry S Truman said, “The buck stops here.”  And the “buck” of responsibility stops with the father.  Another way of looking at it is this.  “We may not always be right, but we are always the parent.”  And we need to act accordingly.  We need to step up and make the tough decisions.  We need to make decisions that may be unpopular with our children.  And we will make some bad decisions.  And when we make a bad decision or a mistake, we need to acknowledge it.  Our children will not lose respect for us when we admit a mistake.  In fact, the opposite is true.  They will come to respect us even more by seeing that we love and respect them enough to acknowledge when we have failed them.Father and Son Blurred

I think homes in America today are places of “Fatherhood Vacuums”.  Divorce has ravaged our families, our homes and our society.  And so often, Mom has had to step in to fill the void left by an absent father.  There can even be fatherhood voids in homes where the father still remains.  How tragic is that when a father is present physically but absent emotionally?

So what is my point today? 

My point is this.  Is it my role primarily to provide for the needs of my family if possible?  Absolutely!  But that is not the most important role that I have.  Is it my role to be a friend to my children and build a relationship of closeness and camaraderie?  Absolutely!  But of the three roles, financier, friend and father, being a real father is the most important of them all.

Go be a “father” today!

Photo credit: Thomas Leuthard / / CC BY
Photo credit: Tojosan / / CC BY-NC-SA

Financier, Friend or Father — Part Two

Friend - JumpWe recently looked at the role that we play as a financier for the family.  And that role is important.  But consider part two of this three part series.

Friend – “Hey, who is your buddy?”

One of the other traps we fall into is the trap of trying to be a buddy or pal to our child rather than being their father.  And the reason we do is fairly obvious.  It is much easier to be a friend than it is to be a father.  And besides, who doesn’t want to be a pal or to have a pal?  The problem is Continue reading “Financier, Friend or Father — Part Two”

Financier, Friend or Father — Part One

Money TreeAs Dads, we have a lot of roles to play as part of our overall responsibility to the family.  This is especially true when it comes to the relationship that we have with our children.  In a brief three part series I plan to consider three particular roles that we play in our children’s lives.

Financier – “What am I made of?  Money?”

I think one of the things that is the hardest for us to understand early in the life of our family is understanding what level of importance to place on the role of money within the family.  And one of the traps that young fathers fall into is the trap of Continue reading “Financier, Friend or Father — Part One”