The Full Adult stage
At this point, a man is both biologically and social a man. However, just because you’re in your mid twenties and beyond doesn’t make you a full fledge man. Just a grown adult male.
A man has a code of honor and conduct. He has self-respect and therefore respect for others. A man self-sustains and therefore has the potential to sustain others. A man has self-restraint and therefore can plan ahead and wait for success to bloom.
Sadly, most males at this stage are ego driven. They can hold positions of power, they can hold responsibilities, but they fold under pressure to their egos. Those are the males that create a lot of hurt in their path when things get rough.
Let’s break this down a bit. An ego driven male is one who responds to situations. Usually emotionally instead of rationally. Even if rationally, it’s reactive. These are the guys who are really cool when things are cool but fly off the handle when things get rough. They rather use brute force instead of negotiations to deal with conflict. They’re more intense than necessary. They can be manipulated by one who is emotionally skilled.
The opposite is a ‘real man’. One who has gained mastery of his emotions and moves pro-actively. He looks ahead. He pauses to think. He’s not swayed easily by emotional heat. He moves in a way that leaves people feeling secure in his presence because of his degree of level-headed-ness.
This doesn’t mean he never shows any strong emotions, just that when he does, it’s appropriate and well suited for the circumstances. He’s able to reign himself in when the moment changes.
In fact, a man adapts very well to his circumstances. Such a man will be easy to work with at work, home, and play. Such a man is consistent, reliable, trustworthy, keeps his word, is methodical, and thorough. Such a person works great as a co-CEO of his home, when he becomes a CEO of a home.
The thing about such a male, he’s got his accountability network in place and is constantly working on himself. He’s got his tribe of men, he’s got his circle of friends, he listens, he thinks, he grows from each situation he encounters. He’s not above apologizing and taking care of his responsibilities.
This stage is peppered with a lot of mentoring and being mentored. A man learns from men before and after him. In other words, there is no room for ego trips. He will learn from a man years older than him just like years younger than him… because he values learning.
Such a man listens to his lady intently before making any recommendations to her. He listens to his children intently before making any recommendations or instructions. Such a man listens to spiritual teachings, moral teachings, and life lessons.
The Ever Changing Roles of a Man
While all the stages of life are designed to follow one after the other, life does what it does as it wishes. One has to be willing to adapt quickly to what life throws your way.
The way a man interacts in all the various settings of his life shows the kind of character he holds. The measure of his manhood is the summation of all the ways he behaves through life.
Several authors have lamented the feminisation of masculinity in the workplace. From the boardroom to the mail-room, society is looking to have less macho males and more socially aware males. The rules of engagement aren’t the same as the playground of old. The hierarchy of power has to account for the presence of another powerhouse… women.
The ego driven male often feels threatened in these situations. The power structure is no longer along the lines of power and bro code. It’s more along the lines of relationships. Relating on an emotional intelligent plane instead of bravado. This is where a ‘real man’ rises to the occasion.
The ‘feminine’ traits of communication is a human trait. One that all can cultivate, but society has not invested enough for the males in it’s midst. Everyone has to learn how to respectfully communicate their needs and respect the needs of others.
The old male model of “do as I tell you” doesn’t work. There is a need for “third alternatives” to exist. This is the model where two people share their desires and come to a mutually beneficial conclusion. That conclusion could be a midway point, it could be in favor of one over the other, or it could be a third option that meets the needs of both without being the first choice of either.
This requires maturity, rationality, patience, and skills. All achievable and teachable. A man works to cultivate those skills. CEOs of the home work to cultivate these skills in both their daughters and sons.
The days of ‘daddy knows best’ seem to have been pushed aside for ‘mommy knows best’. Can’t blame society for that either. Too many guys aren’t mature enough to be great dads… or so Hollywood wants you to believe anyway.
The thundering voice of a father is cool sitcom stuff but isn’t the way of a man. A man listens more than he speaks and provides the appropriate response. This may mean giving up on a few distractions to do this well. Like putting a cell-phone away, the work laptop away, the entertainment systems away.
Not permanently, but appropriately.
In the home, the man knows he’s sharing the leadership role with his lady. (in same gender homes, that is already a given). CEOs of the home don’t compete on rank with each other for there is only one office of CEO in the home occupied by both parents.
While this means both are equals, this doesn’t mean they’re identical. They bring their own unique specialization to the office of CEOs of the home. Those unique specializations aren’t neatly classified by gender either. Both have to listen to each other, both have to respect each other, both have to communicate effectively and work as a team.
When a man uses his skills and learns to be a great dad, he can handle all situations that comes to him. He knows what to do based on his own experience and also trusts the network he has to help him find out what he doesn’t know. This is the single biggest advantage a man has, his network. Males of immature status either have no network or a poor network. Men have and cultivate a great network that grows with them, for them, and pushes them as well.