As a mentor to other leaders, I am constantly reminding them that the responsibility of being a Leader is to recognize that what you say and how you behave is having impact on those who choose too follow you. The moment you set yourself up as an authority, there will be those who will oppose and those who will follow.
Here’s something you may want to consider: Recently I was speaking with someone who had specifically asked me for advice on what to do regarding a certain situation. After much consideration and qualification, I gave my direction. Later that person came and thanked me as my “advice” had brought a result they were both surprised delighted by.
This same person asked me why I thought that in the past they had not followed my direction even when they knew it was the “right” thing to do? My reply was short and simple: People ask for advice but what they really want is one of two other things. 1) Too be made right right about what they’ve already done or 2) To be given permission to do what they have already decided to do Anything else; correct or otherwise, is an exercise in futility for the adviser. Hence my qualifying statement when asked for advice: “Don’t ask Me unless you really want to know!”
That being said; I’d like to bring your attention to Michael & Debi Pearl. These are two people who have set themselves up as authorities by writing a book with the a fairly innocent tile of “Training up a Child”. When you think about it; your first interaction with a form of leadership (healthy or unhealthy, destructive or empowering) is likely with your primary caregivers (parents etc) What this book is doing is; making brutal parents right about what they’ve already done. And or giving them permission to do what they have already decided to do, and in this case this is nothing short of both abusive and criminal!
So let me be clear: This post is a highly opinionated one! I am disgusted not only by the “morons” who wrote this book… Yes, that’s a judgement, (how very unenlightened of me), and you know what; I’m good with it! But I am also equally disgusted with the brain dead folks wearing the label “Christian” while brutalizing a child who are following this shitty, abusive and massively damaging “leadership”. You see this book is written by Michael Pearl who claims to be a Christian Minister. Some of the discipline techniques the Pearls teach include:
- Using plastic tubing to beat children, since it hurts a lot but leaves fewer marks to alert authorities
- Wearing the plastic tubing around the parent’s neck as a constant reminder to obey
- “Swatting” babies as young as six months old with instruments such as “a 12-inch willowy branch,” thinner plastic tubing or a wooden spoon
- “Blanket training” babies by hitting them with an instrument if they try to crawl off a blanket on the floor
- Beating older children with rulers, paddles, belts and larger tree branches
- “Training” children with pain before they even disobey, in order to teach total obedience
- Giving cold water baths, putting children outside in cold weather and withholding meals as discipline
- Hosing off children who have potty training accidents
- Inflicting punishment until a child is “without breath to complain.”
As someone with an extensive background in psychology I can tell you without even a shadow of a doubt 80% of these child will never fully recover, and the rest will be at best emotionally scared! Look I am Not a Christian… However, I did spend many years studying both the old and new testament. Bottom line: If you believe in Jesus and you have even half a brain you surely must ask yourself: Is this how Jesus would have treated a child? However, if you are going to come at this from an old testament argument then, pack up your 4 wives with a bag of rocks because it’s time to go stone your other wife for showing her naked ankles or hair. The people who wrote this book hold the title of Minister. That’s a leadership title; with it comes a responsibility of influence, not just in this moment but for the impact the will have over the long term. Like I said: I am not a Christian… However, I know enough to have certainty that claiming this behaviour as Christian is as nuts as saying suicide bombing is the will of Allah or anything to do with the teachings of Mohammad.
Come on people get a grip: This is a book that encourages child abuse and those following it are abusers. Despite our own religious beliefs we must learn to stand up and separate violence and abuse from any kind of spiritual philosophy. For me it’s pretty cut and dried: If you do this stuff you deserve to go to jail (and have your inmates know why) Tell me what you think:
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Dov Baron Speaks internationally on leadership in the new economy. He is the Leading expert on The Power of Authentic Vulnerable Leadership and is the world’s Only Corporate Cultural Strategist. To bring Dov in to speak to your group or organization please contact Baron Mastery at +1 778 397 7717
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