Lessons from My Dad

Leadership starts with what you see and hear growing up. Sometimes, it teaches you what not to do. I'm fortunate that watching my Dad gave me positive examples. It was Father's Day this weekend, so I've been thinking about him. Here's a little of what I've learned from him.  scott-and-his-dad Large

  • Keep working, not complainingI saw him work for the same company for almost 30 years. It wasn't all roses, but he came home happy on purpose. He still teaches flying lessons a few days a week. He's 80.  I've worked since I was 12. 
  • Respect everyone. My Dad went straight into the Navy after high school and moved from Minnesota to Florida, where he unknowingly sat in the section of the bus station that was not "for whites." He didn't know why everyone was staring at him. He told us these stories and made sure we knew how ridiculous those old separations were. People are people. 
  • Ask first.  I got to work with my Dad for 9 years and watch him manage a large division of a company. He never jumped into a conversation with an accusation. He always started by asking questions and by looking for an opportunity to help his team perform better. 
  • Give people a chance   If you didn't work out in one job, he'd give you a chance to prove yourself in another position. He also told you when you needed to do better. 

I know this is long, but I couldn't wrap it up. It's my Dad! 

  • Degrees don't make you successful  What you do, how you treat people, the decisions you make,  your daily habits, your risk tolerance, and your commitment to getting better contribute to your success. Friends help, too.
  • Understand your employees Get to know your team. Listen to them. Consider what's important to them. 
  • Ask the experts Lose your ego and ask for help to save time and to learn more.
  • Be You I was allowed to be exactly who I wanted to be, which gave me confidence.   
  • Be Accountable for Your Actions I was taught to apologize in person and to clean a public restroom when I started a pie throwing fight (after a pie eating contest) and accidentally hit the pastor with a pie at our church carnival in sixth grade. I also learned the price for dry-cleaning a suit. 
  • Don't carry resentment. Let it go. Carrying it around only hurts you, not them. Move forward. 
  • No One Cares What You Drive Things are things. Your relationships matter. Laughing matters. Your family and your faith matter. 

I hope I can be the kind of leader I was taught to be. Thanks for showing me how, Dad. 

And if you want to rid yourself of work distractions so you can focus on what matters most there, let us know what we can take off your to-do list.

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