My father passed away 16 years ago this month. What he taught me has served me well in business and in life. Even lessons I learned when I didn't at the time necessarily realize I was learning from him.
So, 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 and 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 And 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. Happy Father's Day.