For many of us, our fathers played an important part in our development and helping to make us the people we are today. Having lost my mother at a very young age, my father took on the role of both parents to me, my brother and two sisters.
I find it hard to image, with three children of my own now, trying to fill both roles. I applaud all single parents and appreciate having a lifetime partner in my wife to share the work it takes to be the best parents we can.
Despite everything my father was dealing with, he always offered good advice, support and direction to me. He had so many great sayings and stories that he amassed over his lifetime. When my siblings and I get together we also bring up the way our dad would handle situations and compare notes on the different ways he approached us with his advice and thoughts he would share.
In celebration of Father’s Day, I am hoping to share some of the words and ways my dad helped me learn to be a better person in business and also in life. In some particular order here are some “Business Foundations for Father’s Day”
• Work hard and be rewarded: From a very early age, helping my father with projects around the house, there was also some form of reward for a job well done. It could have been a cold soda or a trip to one of the many candy shops or stores we loved to visit. The reward always came after the work.
• Follow directions: No matter what we built or bought growing up, my father always had a design, plan or instructions to follow. This would include his hand-drawn designs and the instructions that came with anything we purchased. He and we would follow them to the letter all the way down to specific details.
• Always use the right tools: This is one piece of wisdom I still use today. There are tools made for specific jobs, and whether we are referring to the right-size wrench or a piece of technology, always use the right tools to get the job done.
• Collect what is owed to you: This bit of advice actually came from my paperboy days, but still holds true today as it did back then. This not only speaks to performing tasks and getting paid but it also is also a way to know that you and the contributions you make have value.
• Stand up for what you believe in: I remember so many times growing up when my father would be standing his ground on issues that were important to him. Sometimes they were personal and other times they were for the betterment of our neighborhood or community. Regardless of the situation, he stood up for what he believed in.
• Our name is the one thing that stays with us our entire life: My father lived a long and for the most part a healthy life. He would constantly remind us that money, along with good times and bad times would come and go. He stressed the importance of integrity and always doing our best to do the right thing. Because once you do the wrong thing, you and your name are associated with that action.
These and so many more words of wisdom from my father have helped me become the individual I am today. I hope this week’s Business Currents column has inspired you to reflect on some of the things your father taught you. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads in our community!