The horizon over the Pacific Ocean at Dana Point, California inspired me to think ahead about my leadership.

The horizon over the Pacific Ocean at Dana Point, California, inspired me to think ahead about my leadership.

A trip to see the ocean this weekend helped me gaze into the future. Good timing: my wife and business partner, Melinda Batz, and I recently passed a significant milestone and we are embracing the question: What is on our horizon?

Last week we celebrated our oldest child’s 26th birthday. That’s significant because Melinda and I were that same age when Benjamin Paul Batz came into the world. We have three children – the youngest, Anna (20), a sophomore in college who is teaching English in Peru this month. The middle child, Katie (24), is carving a path in the catering/hospitality industry in Minneapolis. Ben started our parenting career 26 years ago – when I was his age.

With that on my mind, it’s no wonder the Pacific Ocean on the horizon over Dana Point, California, triggered a deep and satisfying series of thoughts:

For 26 years, Melinda and I have embrace our #1 priority of raising good kids. Left to right: Ben, Anna, Katie.

For 26 years, Melinda and I have embraced our #1 priority of raising good kids. Left to right: Ben, Anna, Katie.

For Melinda and me, our #1 purpose over the past 26 years has been to raise good children who would be good leaders. That meant job changes and new homes. Concerts and sports. Parent friendships. Building things and letting go. Vacations and volunteering. We really wanted our children to see us working hard, struggling, celebrating and going to church.

Triggering event

On Facebook, Melinda and I were invited to Ben’s potluck birthday party at his home in St. Paul. We were the only people over the age of 30. It was stimulating to be immersed in vibrant, hopeful, and talented people – the people who will shape the next 26 years of our society.

Ben is now working in the Good Leadership business. He facilitated a session in the Aspiration Suite with college leaders on his 16th birthday.

Ben is now working in the Good Leadership business. He facilitated a session in the Aspiration Suite with college leaders on his 26th birthday.

So what can we and I expect of Ben’s siblings and friends? I suppose it’s the same thing I expect from all good leaders:

1. They need to help us believe in “what’s possible” to make our world a better place if we work together. And,

2. They will lead their lives with conviction and courage to help us all understand what is, and what is not, acceptable behavior along the way. Because that’s what good leaders do.

So what’s on our horizon for the next 26 years?

We started a business 7 years ago, because I intend to work long into the horizon. Human beings were meant to work hard and build things. Some of the best coaches/writers/speakers I know are well into their 70s. We just bought a new house to stimulate the next chapter.  And we intend to test our point of view that “goodness pays” with world-class research.

Goodness Pledge Spark - The highest compliment for any leaderMy son’s 26th birthday and a trip to see the ocean this weekend helped me gaze into the future. So what’s on the horizon for you?

Good leaders look back with gratitude. And they dream with positivity and anticipation for what’s on the horizon.

Please answer the “what’s on the horizon for you?” question – I’d love to know!