How Unexpected Feedback Changed This Man’s Life and Leadership

by | Mar 12, 2022 | Church & Ministry

I’ve struggled with change. There was a time in my business and my marriage when I thought I knew it all. It was hard for me to receive constructive feedback because the feedback was often critical of me. And because I was not able to receive feedback, it was hard for me to change. I had a need to be right all the time.

Earlier in my life when I lived in College Station, Texas, but was commuting to Cincinnati, Ohio, nearly every week, I was gone 50 out of every 52 weeks each year. I would leave on a Sunday afternoon at about 4 p.m., drive a couple of hours, get on an airplane, fly to Ohio and get back home at about midnight on Friday night. Every once in a while, I’d be lucky and wouldn’t leave until Monday morning at 4 instead of Sunday afternoon.

After months of doing this, one night, I returned home to Texas at midnight. The house was dark. As I was walking through the house and into my bedroom, I heard my little 6-year-old’s voice say, “Hi, Daddy. Can I sleep with you tonight?”

I looked over and said, “Hey, sweetie.” I gave her a kiss and said, “I’ll be right back. I’m going to brush my teeth.”

When I came back, I told her, “You can sleep in here tonight if you want to.” Her mom was in another room taking care of our daughter who was just a few months old. As my head was about to hit the pillow—and it usually takes me a good five to 10 seconds to fall asleep—my daughter said, “Daddy, can we have a snack?”

Because I had been traveling a lot and didn’t feel I was being a good father or husband, I was experiencing a lot of guilt at that time. My kids probably could have asked for anything that we could have afforded, and they would have gotten it. And I clearly could afford a snack. So, we got out of bed and walked through the family room and into the kitchen. I asked her, “What would you like to eat?”

She said, “Let’s have ice cream.”

That was strange because she didn’t like ice cream. But if you put a hundred foods on the table along with ice cream and forced me to choose one, it would be ice cream. As I was fixing two bowls of ice cream in the kitchen, I looked back in to the family room and saw my 6-year-old daughter go to the corner and turn on the television. Then, I watched her go to our two swivel recliners and turn them sideways. She then took two kitchen chairs and slid them right up to the edge of the family room so that the chairs were still in the kitchen and we could see through the turned recliners.

The two of us sat there in those kitchen chairs with our feet in the family room, watching ESPN on television after midnight through the swivel recliners. I was eating my ice cream and savoring the moment. I was thinking, I’m going to get another bowl of ice cream because she doesn’t even like ice cream.

I looked over and saw her twirling her spoon around in her ice cream.

After a few minutes of me eating my ice cream and my daughter swirling hers around in her bowl, I heard her little voice again. “Daddy, can I ask you a question?”

I said, “Sure, sweetie. You can ask me a question anytime you want.”

“Daddy, you know that thing that you’re doing in Cincinnati?”


“Did you offer to do that, or did somebody ask you to?”

I looked at her and said, “Well, somebody asked me to.”

She never looked up. She kept swirling her ice cream. After a few seconds, she said, “Daddy, do you think you could get them to ask somebody else?”

I had always heard about people getting choked up and “swallowing an orange.” In that moment, I choked up, and I felt myself swallowing that orange. Here was my 6-year-old daughter saying to me, “Daddy, we need you at home.”

After I regained my composure, I replied, “Well, you know, darling, if Daddy wasn’t up there helping those people, a lot of people wouldn’t have jobs.”

That little girl never looked up. She just said, “Then—that’s OK, Daddy.”

The truth was I had to take that feedback as relevant. I had to make a decision about whether I would keep doing what I had been doing. At this time, the corporate board had been trying to influence me to move to Cincinnati, but that was not a decision to be made lightly.

The next day, I met with my wife, Sandra, and said to her, “Honey, we have a choice to make. We can either move our corporate office back to Texas, move ourselves to Ohio or I can quit and do something else. Because what I’m doing now is destroying our family.”

My daughter’s feedback was highly relevant. I had to acknowledge it, and I had to take responsibility for making the necessary changes. If my wife had said something to me like that back then, my anger would have flared up, and I would have said something like, “I’m working hard and making a lot of money. You have a great lifestyle. Why would you ask me that?”

If you decide to go down this trail, you’ll be surprised where such good, solid feedback will come from. Maybe even from a 6-year-old girl.

Over time, I have learned two important lessons: 1) all feedback is relevant, and 2) change seldom occurs until the pain of staying the same exceeds the pain of changing. As transformational leaders, we all need to receive all feedback even—and especially—if it is hard to receive. Then as we make the changes we need to make from that feedback, we continue to grow into the kind of transformational leaders who have a positive impact in our relationships and organizations. {eoa}

Ford Taylor is a leadership strategist and solutions trainer, keynote speaker and the author of Relactional Leadership. As the founder of Transformational Leadership, he is a man who solves complex business and relational issues with straightforward, practical solutions while maintaining his focus on people. Ford shares authentic leadership training and individualized leadership consulting with a primary emphasis on the people who serve an organization while simultaneously maintaining a clear focus on the organization itself. Ford helps to both define and navigate leadership in today’s culture with an empathetic intelligence.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.


Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Troy Black Shares A Message to Help You Fight For Faith Again

Young, old, rich or poor—nobody is immune to the feeling of brokenness. Jesus' life, death and resurrection on earth is a constant reminder that death no longer has a sting. Fear and hopelessness lurk throughout the earth trying to find an opportune moment to consume...

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Kevin Sorbo’s Transformative Encounter as a Teen with Billy Graham

Actor Kevin Sorbo is known today for his roles in faith-based movies, like "God's Not Dead" and "Left Behind," but the iconic "Hercules" star's Christian roots took form at an early age. Sorbo recently told CBN's "Faith vs. Culture" he first read the prophetic book of...

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

7 Forms of Functional Cessationism

In this article, cessationism refers to the doctrine, practice or belief that the ascension ministry gifts and the manifestations of the Holy Spirit ceased with the early church and do not function in the present church age (Eph. 4:11-16; 1 Cor. 12: 4-11). The...

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

Practical Tips to Maximize Your Time

We all have the same amount of time—four hours a day, seven days a week. And the longer I live, the more I discover that time is too valuable for us to waste any of it. That’s why it is so important that we learn to live on purpose, for a purpose. The truth is if you...

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

Enter the Courts of Heaven with Rabbi Curt Landry

This article was first released by Curt Landry Ministries. Note: This is the first of a two-part series of articles. When you enter heaven's courtroom to do spiritual warfare, you are asking that the will of God, what is written in His books, be released from heaven...


The Spiritual Awakening of Buffalo, New York

Monday night, Jan. 2, 2023, God drew our nation to prayer as Bills player Damar Hamlin experienced cardiac arrest on live tv. Could this have been the largest spontaneous prayer meeting in the...
Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Dr. Don Colbert: How This Every Day Ingredient is Killing Your Brain

Read Time: 4 Minutes 43 Seconds Of the many artificial sweeteners out there, such as aspartame, sucralose (Splenda), saccharin (Sugar Twin and Sweet’N Low) and neotame (NutraSweet), aspartame is one of the most common. How common? Aspartame is an ingredient in more...

Pin It on Pinterest