How Fathers Change Lives: Book Review {& Father’s Day Shout-out!}

Fathers Change Lives Feature

Fathers change lives. For the glorifying goodness of positive impact or the weighty devastation of brokenness, it is true—fathers change lives.

As I started writing stories of the life-changing effect of the Strengths perspective on people’s lives, my coach and mentor challenged me to read another collection of stories about change. This collection, it turns out, was about fathers.

{Check out the real, life-changing Strengths Stories about Murray, Wex, Kelly, Kat, Jack, and Melissa by clicking one of their names!}

So, today, I’m highlighting two of my favorite stories of the fatherly impact from Greg Hague’s book, How Fathers Change Lives.

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Draw a Wider Circle

Lori Holden grew up with a father full of aphorisms and a cycle of often repeated advice. Her father grew up without a dad at all.

As she reflects on the influence of her dad, there is one line of advice that stands out above them all–draw a wider circle.

In Lori’s own preference toward the role of wallflower over the role of social butterfly, she often found herself on the outside. She felt excluded, with no recourse for making a friend or becoming included.

When she conveyed the sadness of being left out to her father, he would simply reply–draw a wider circle. Over time, she learned that by expanding beyond her comfort zone and reaching out to others, the opportunies for friendship expanded. And she found inclusion…and friends!

{What a beautiful picture of Includer Strength!}

Lori image

Even today, Lori still hears her dad’s wisdom when she begins to feel the discomfort of feeling on the outside—draw a wider circle. In turn, she has has been freed and enriched by his words, over and over again.

Lori writes, “When you force yourself to draw a wider circle, as uncomfortable as it may be, you automatically enrich you own life with the only thing in life that really matters—other people.”

The High Ground

Even as a preschooler, Justin Hyde found himself vying to accompany his dad on his frequent hunting trips in the backwoods of Wyoming. Finally, at age 6, he was allowed to come along.

Not long into the excursion, as they crouched in the brush, Justin’s father told him to sit tight and wait for him to return. Second and minutes crept by like hours to the young boy, and soon, panic began to set in. Soft whispers for his dad quickly turned to a frightened scream–“DAD, where are you?!”

From behind him, his dad reached out and touched him. He reassured the shaken boy that he would never intentionally leave Justin alone. Quickly, though, his father’s point was well-received.

Just didn’t know what to do if he and his dad were separated.


That day, Justin’s dad taught him to seek the High Ground. Whenever he lost his dad or found himself lost, he needed not to panic, but rather look for the high ground—the clearing above it all to look and see where to go and how to find his way home.

{Belief Strength or maybe Strategic in action??}

Throughout Justin’s childhood and into adulthood, he has often thought back to that first day in the woods with his dad. When he gets lost in the thick of life, he can still remember the reassuring hand of his dad leading him to the High Ground.

So, today, when he feels a panic or uncertainty coming in, that is where he heads, right where his father said he should go—to the High Ground.

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How Fathers Change Lives by Greg Hague

Littered with real images of real families and real fathers, and contributions by dozens of writers {the grown kids!}, Greg’s book brings to life the both small and large moments of impact that fathers make in the lives of their children.

Father’s day is this weekend {hope I’m not the first one to remind you!}, so this weekend, consider letting your dad know even one small way he has changed your life—one small way he has impacted you and your life by being your dad.



Links & Resources from today

Bring It | Need It {FREE Tool}
Personalized Maven Insights
The stories of Murray, Wex, Kelly, Kat, Jack, and Melissa
{9 Steps} to Life Change through your StrengthsFinder Top 5 Strengths
The Power of a Personal Brand Strengths Statement
How Fathers Change Lives by Greg Hague
Greg Hague | author and founder of Real Estate Mavericks | Twitter
Lori Holden | on Adoption on twitter @LavLuz
Justin Hyde | co-founder Hero Partners, Bronze Buffalo Club, Hyde-Norton Group

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As always, one of the best places to join the Strengths conversation is over at our Facebook Group — Energy Up Frustration Down by Strengths. Join us as we all try to figure out just how to use our Strengths to impact the most important things around us—in our work and life.

If you’re thinking about the way a Strengths-perspective could impact your marriage or your family or you’re just not so sure about it all, reach out, and let’s connect about it. You can catch me at Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, all at @isogostrong, or by this handy contact form.

Enjoy your day, and {be strong}!

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