Business And Life Lessons My Father Taught Me

My father passed away just about 14 years ago.  A week before my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. A few weeks prior to 9/11. That time remains a blur to me. But, what my father taught me has served me well in business and in life. Long before his death and still today.

On this Father's Day, I thank my dad for teaching me the following business and life lessons:

Listen - Growing up, I thought my Dad was perhaps shy or quiet. Really, he was just a great listener.  I believe that's what made him so wise. He would listen to anyone. Young or old.  New acquaintance or friend.

Provide - My Dad provided for me. Music lessons. Vacations. Summer camp. Boy Scouts.  He gave. He put others' needs first. Today, I find in volunteering likely the same satisfaction he felt when he provided.

Educate - My Dad's passion was education. He loved to learn. He loved even more to teach. He lived to help other people learn. In the workplace, providing learning opportunities is one of the most powerful things you can do for an employee. Mentoring is equally powerful.

Train & Prepare - All those years of hearing, "Have you done your homework?" and "practice your trombone," served me well.  I fully understand the need to prepare for presentations, meetings, interviews, etc.

Dress The Part - I admit. When I was younger, I sometimes didn't understand why my Dad dressed the way he did. Now I understand the value of dressing appropriately for the situation and circumstance.

Respect & Accept - My Dad showed respect to and acceptance of people different from himself.

Inject Humor - I would consider my Dad to have been a serious kind of guy. More serious than many other fathers in the neighborhood where I grew up. So, when he told a funny story, sang a silly song, or acted goofy, it was particularly memorable. At work, I inject humor to diffuse stressful situations. And, to build stronger bonds with my colleagues.

Thank you, Dad, for teaching me these valuable lessons by setting such a good example. I miss you.


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