Ahwatukee resident Mike Sissel recently released his book titled, “Seriously, Dad?”, which centers on how to encourage young students to have the confidence on becoming leaders.

According to the book’s website, “Seriously, Dad?” explores a teen’s journey toward having the ability to manage their thoughts and emotions.

Sissel has an extensive background with working with children, as he taught at Kyrene de la Esperanza Elementary School for eight years.

“I always had a passion for teaching life and leadership skills within the classroom,” he said.

He enjoyed his time as a teacher, but wanted to branch out a bit and start a new chapter in his life.

In 2008, Sissel decided to take a leap of faith and formed his own business — KaleidoEye — which focuses on children becoming leaders and how parents can help them along the way.

“It was a means to fill that void in terms of academic rigor vs. social and emotional skills,” he said.

He began contracting with different schools in the Ahwatukee community and hosting seminars for students on becoming leaders and how to deal with their emotions in a healthy and nonviolent way.

Through the seminars, Sissel created a leadership curriculum called Lenses of Leadership, which teaches young students to see life through an empowered lens and not a powerless lens.

“The creation of the program is what inspired me to write my book,” he said. “I wrote the books as a conversation between a father and his 13-year-old daughter, and embedded within each of the conversations are all of the leadership principles I teach to the kids.”

Each chapter of “Seriously, Dad?” is broken into weeks and readers are asked to apply what they have read and learned within their everyday life.

“I wrote it really to empower both children and parents,” Sissel said. “My hope was that parents would read it with their kids and use the tools that they learned.”

Sissel’s vision for his book and his seminars is to show parents and children how to be an influence toward leadership and not an authority figure.

“It’s a way for them to hear it less as a ‘here’s what they should do,’ and more as a ‘here’s what they can do,’ which is more of an empowering approach,” he said. “I feel like that leads to academic improvement; when they are able to be aware of the quality of their thinking and the effectiveness of their emotions … they’re in a better place to learn.”

For more information or to purchase “Seriously, Dad?”, visit www.createspace.com/4970500.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or dochoa@ahwatukee.com.

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