Gary Collins Newsletter #388 – COUNCIL OF DADS

Bruce Feiler is a journalist and best selling author who was diagnosed with cancer when his twin daughters were only three. The doctors predicted a difficult year of treatment with a strong possibility that he would not recover. The young father wondered what this would mean to his daughters if they grew up without his support, without knowing their dad or hearing his voice.

“Would they yearn for my approval, my love, my voice?” Feiler wrote. Then he thought of a way to give them his voice. He would reach out to six men, each of whom represented a different part of his life including his interests in adventure, travel, business and communicating. Apart from his family, these were the men who knew him best, shared his values, and could be his voice if he was gone. These men could give his daughters advice and experiences, tell them what he would be thinking, let them know how proud he would be. He called them “The Council of Dads.”

Like a captivating novelist, Feiler tells his story in The Council of Dads: My Daughters, My Illness, and the Men Who Could be Me. I was stimulated and so moved by the book that I sent copies as Fathers Day gifts to some of the young dads and emerging leaders I know who walk with me, let me coach them and teach me from their experiences. My kids are grown. They don’t need a council of dads and neither do I.

But do I need a council of advisors, people who know my voice and can guide me in how I live and make decisions? And what about you, your closest friends, your clients or your children? Could they benefit from surrounding themselves with a council of dads, moms or other key people who know them well and can be their guides and informal coaches? Who would be chosen to be on these councils? What would they be asked to do? To get started read Feiler’s book or check out


  1. Great Article. I am really interested in reading the book. I am very aware of the importance of the influence of older men in the lives of younger ones.


  2. As a 73 year old I haven´t even a URL…but I greatly appriciate your emails Gary! A power article this is.


    1. With your name and the time of your message I am guessing you might be in South Africa?

      So you are 73 and without a URL. I have more of those than I need. Furthermore, I think you are a young guy because I am older than you (75). I keep learning from people who are younger than me. Most of my close friends are in their thirties. But here’s a confession: I’m not at techie and I know very little about technology. But I keep learning. I have a ton of friends who are in tune with social media and communication. I try to keep in synch with them. They teach me when I need help. These days, mentoring and people building is a two-way process.


  3. I’d like to continue subscribing to your newsletter/blog Gary. I am frequently stimulated to action, reflection and recommittal. Thanks for the option to resubscribe.


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