The “why” is more important than the “what”.

I’ve always been told this as a new parent. If you explain the why to your kids, then it will be easier for them to obey.

However, based on experience, I haven’t been as successful.

When my eldest was 8 years old, my wife Jenn and I would explain to him why it was important to eat vegetables – the nutritional value and meritorious reasons of developing this habit.

Well, it wasn’t working.

So we reverted back to “just-do-as-I-say” method.

As years passed, and as 3 more kids came, I’ve realized an important lesson.

Yes, the why is more important than the what.
But more important than the why is the relational trust the child has with the parent.

I have yet to recall a time when I gave wonderful explanations of the rules and then my children would reply,

“Oh, daddy, now we realize the critical importance of what you just explained. You’ve shed light into this matter. Because of that, from now on, we will do exactly what you say!”

That would be the dream but unfortunately it only remains to be a dream.

The problem with rules and reasons is that you can argue with them point by point and debate issue by issue.


The answers we give to their questions never carry more weight than a healthy and trusted relationship.

Listen to what Reggie Joiner has to say…

“One of the most powerful things a parent can do is to learn to communicate in a style that values the relationship.”

It actually is possible to win the argument and yet lose the relationship.

The goal is not to win the debate. The goal is to win the heart.


Gallup Poll made a research and surveyed 10,000 people.  They asked these 2 questions: “What leader has the most positive influence in your daily life?” and “Can you list 3 words that best describe what this person contributes to your life?”

You would expect the ‘usual suspects’ like purpose, wisdom, humor, humility, vision.

But it seems that the people gave a clear picture of what they want and need from the most influential leaders in their lives.

Here’s the list:

1. Trust

2. Compassion

3. Stability

4. Hope

Trust was on the top of the list.

One of the people that were interviewed said, “The truth is your bond- you die keeping your promises.  If you send the message that your word is not worth much, you’ll be paid back on that.”

The research revealed that “the chances of employees being engaged at work when they do not trust the company’s leaders are just 1 in 12.”

In stark contrast, the chances of employees being engaged at work are better than 1 in 2 if they trust the leadership of the organization.

Trust increases speed and efficiency in the workplace.  As Steven R. Covey would say in his book, “Nothing is as fast as the speed of trust.”

Best Buy’s Brad Anderson says “the key to building trust is being authentic, even if that means letting people see his flaws.  As a leader, he feels no choice but to be very candid – even when delivering difficult news – because that’s the only way to build trust.  It is the most cherished and valuable commodity in a work environment.”

More on the other 3 in my next post.


broken trustAs a leader, trust is the primary currency you and I have.

People can follow because of titles.  They can follow because of incentives.  Others will follow because they might get fired.  Some will follow because of your position.  But people love to follow people they trust.

Daniel was trustworthy.  People falsely accused him and did their best to discredit him yet they couldn’t.

Daniel 6:4 says that “he was trustworthy… neither corrupt nor negligent.”

2 Things that break trust:

1. Saying one thing and doing another.

Corruption in not just about taking someone’s wealth.  The dictionary defines it as someone who is dishonest, unprincipled and crooked.

When we say one thing, do we do something different hoping people won’t notice?  When we do that, we break trust.  The truth is, it’s in the little things that people see that actually erode trust.

2. Saying one thing and not doing it.

Daniel did what he always did.

In fact, King Darius’ question showed Daniel’s consistency.

“Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, WHOM YOU SERVE CONTINUALLY, been able to rescue from the lions?”

When we say one thing and not follow through, that too breaks trust.

Daniel was trustworthy because he was neither corrupt nor negligent.

As a result, the Bible says that he “prospered during the reign of Darius and the reign of Cyrus the Persian.”