How to catch a Shark

A lesson on manhood

How to catch a Shark

  • Lure, Lead, Line and a little Luck.

  • Fathering Greatness

  • The Proverbs 31 Relationship

We’re going to lure him in with some ladyfish, sharks love ladyfish.

This is called the leader it’s a single strand of line that attaches to the hook.

The leader is attached to the linethe line is lots of little threads woven together, it’s much stronger than the leader, it’s kind of like rope.

Then we gotta walk out into the water about 50 yards, cast the line as far as we can, stick the pole in the beach and wait.”

This is where luck and God take over.

- Jude, 13, our fishing boat captain and Shark guide

Captain Jude & James

Now, I’m not a parent and I’m only an amateur shark hunter — but, from what I can tell, raising a son is a lot like catching a shark.

Step 1: The Lure

We cast the line three times before we hooked a shark — two out of three times the shark ate the bait right around the hook and completely avoided being reeled in.

They nibbled but they didn’t bite.

Sharks are smart — so are kids.

If the bait isn’t presented in the right way, that’s appetizing, natural and not forced — kids or a shark won’t bite.

An appetizing lure is congruency — you have to walk it not just talk it.

This is why “do as I say, not as I do” never works.

Step 2: The Leader

The leader is the single strand that connects the hook to the strength of the mainline.

It’s designed to be strong and flexible to bring in a catch — but also designed to breakaway if necessary.

The Leader is the Father.

He is the lure, the hook and the single strand that connects a boy to the strength of men.

If the fathers example isn’t appetizing — a boy won’t bite.

He’ll waste years in the water wondering what it means to be a man.

Step 3: The Line

The line is a woven thread that is strong because of its many parts.

It supports the leader in bringing the bites to the shore.

This is the tribe of men.

It’s willing to go into the waters and bring in a catch — but not at the cost of losing the whole line.

When you get a bite you gotta be gentle it takes finesses to reel a shark in — you can’t just rip it or the lead will break and you’ll lose the catch.

If sharks are anything like kids they’ll be hesitate to bite again…

There’s a dance that happens between the water and the shoreline.

In a perfect world this the transition between boyhood and manhood.

The synchronized handoff from the waters of the womb to the strength of the shore.

Children need two parents.

The Dalton Family on the Florida Coast

I spent the weekend in sunny Florida with Joe Dalton, his four boys, wife Kurstin and dog Camo.

Joe’s been a devoted 1-1 coaching client for the last year and as part of the coaching experience I include a weekend session to dive deeper into planning, vision or business — whatever my client needs.

Typically they come to me but when Joe invited me out to to Florida to spend time with his family I couldn’t resist…

A Family Woven with Faith and Adventure

Joe and Kurstin Dalton are a testament to how raising men should be.

They homeschool their four sons—Antonio, Jude, James, and Jones, and this family doesn't just teach; they embody faith, entrepreneurship and adventure as core life curriculum.

Lessons are caught not taught.

Jude & James

This weekend wasn’t just a fishing trip; it was a masterclass in parenting, trust and building young men.

Jude, 13, captained and anchored the boat and lead the shark adventure navigating narrow canals, windy waters and a very busy Saturday afternoon on the water, he created a memory for me that I’ll never forget.

Jones the youngest at 7 showed off an impressive 100 pushups on our boat ride back after gathering 50 pounds of sea shells he later plans on selling.

James, 11, a gifted athlete sunk 44 out of 50 baskets from 20 feet for a family game [with real money on the line] and out performed boys twice his size during baseball practice.

And Antonio, 15, kept up with me in the gym [this is not an easy task] and shared biblical wisdom with incredible conviction that has me curious to deepen my study… plus he gave me one of the best haircuts I’ve ever received.

There’s no lesson plan for ambition like this, these lessons are caught not taught.

Antonio putting in work.

Sea Shells and Scripture

We stayed busy.

With four boys [plus Camo their poodle] there was no shortage of action.

But, midst the adventure, what struck me the most was the calm unity of this family.

The boys, each uniquely gifted, shared a common thread of boldness and service, mirroring the diligent nurturing of their parents.

A testament that homeschooling isn't confined to books; it's a living education where the parents values of faith, entrepreneurship, and the grit of adventure are the curriculum.

The littlest Jones being prayed over.

The Reflection of True Leadership

This weekend reinforced a profound truth: the mantle of leadership in a family rests heavily on the shoulders of the father.

What the father avoids the son is forced to deal with, and you cant lead in an area you're unwilling to go.

What I appreciate the most about Joe is he avoids nothing.

When we first started working together I wasn’t sure I could help him.

  • He has a great marriage and his wife respects him.

  • He doesn’t doesn’t drink and no standard vices

  • He’s fit and his businesses are doing well.

Joe wasn’t like other men I’ve worked with — there wasn’t a glaring issue — he just wanted to be a better father and husband.

He knew he didn’t know everything and wanted perspective in the areas he was missing the mark.

He sought solutions before there were problems — he doesn’t want to be good he wants to be great.

“When you coach a dad, you also coach the sons.”

The Proverbs 31 Wife

Reflecting Joe’s leadership and what I found to be most impressive was Joe’s wife Kurstin — the glue in a household of men.

She had the perfect blend of support, respect, and honor — nurturing and firm with a servants heart.

Reinforcing how important it is to choose a partner with aligned values.

Together, they make an incredible team.

Something to leave you with…

Fathers, Model the Way: Great men aren't just born; they are shaped by the example set before them.

A father's actions, words, and beliefs lay the foundation for his sons' journey into manhood.

If you have a son you have a responsibility to become your best — average is unacceptable.

You must be ruthless with your personal development because your life is the lure for the man your son will become.

Your life is the bait — it’s what will lure him into masculinity

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