About Mike Edwards — Author of Culture Maker

Hi, I'm Mike Edwards. I have 6 kids and I've fostered 37 more. That doesn't mean I'm perfect, it just means I've likely made more mistakes then most - based on the maths, that's probably not far from the truth.

That being said you’re unlikely to listen to a guy talking about parenting and leadership if he isn't living by example.

So let’s look at that.

Today, as I write this, I struggle with every leaders burden — to lead well at work, to grow a successful business but also make enough time for my kids.

I hope I get this right, at least some of the time. It's tricky, because my wife and I have 6 kids (we've been married for 27 years), and we've also now been blessed with grandkids — life is busy.

It's quieter then it use to be though — we’re no longer fostering, we now just have four kids at home and it feels like a breeze. It's the same in every home, no matter how big or small — if there's just one child away, it feels like the house is empty.

In addition to our large family, I lead Hāpai Whanau — our charity, and Flare Fires.

When it comes to establishing my leadership credibility — I'd start off by saying speak to my wife, or my kids. And when it comes to business — Flare Fires is a complex export business and we're leading in all the markets in which we operate. And when I look at our success, it's not me that's done it — it's 100% my team. I have a world-class team, and I'm thankful for them every day. 

Gosh, I'd have to say the same about Hāpai Whanau. Our team is beyond world-class — and our charitable work is loved by the community.

My wife and I have fallen into this work — we don't purport to being perfect. We started helping young families when we had just a young family ourselves — we're just super passionate and optimistic for family.

What if we believed in a bright future for all families?

Fostering highlighted the great brokeness in families and the foster care system. Things must and can get better. We believe in a brighter future. What if we all believed in a brighter future — first for our family, then the families around us — imagine what the world could look like. The Bright Vision Charitable Trust (Hāpai Whanau) was formed for this purpose.

This photo is from one of our Hāpai Pēpi programs in 2021 - find out more about us on Hāpai Whanau

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