More Lessons from Dad

Dad’s lessons continue..

Last time I wrote about one of Dad’s lessons. It was about the importance of doing your homework, being prepared, and how you can benefit from working a little harder and knowing a little more than the other guy. It was one of many lessons my dad taught me.

My dad was a proud marine, a classical pianist, sailboat racer and father to five sons. He was a leader. I’d like to share a few lessons he taught his sons that apply to our work, our lives, and how we are perceived by others. Things he taught us were necessary to be a good leader.

1. Integrity matters. As a kid we learned about this when we were asked if we did our chores. Lying always turned out to be a bad idea.  Do the right thing when no one is looking. Always be honest and truthful in everything you say and do. It doesn’t matter who your connections are or what your experience is, you can’t be a good leader if you are untrustworthy or devious. How did you learn you learn about integrity?

Set yourself up to be a good leader in advance. Embrace integrity. Good leaders don’t lie.

2. Take initiative. I remember dad saying; “don’t wait until I tell you to cut the grass. If it needs cutting, cut it,” or, “if it breaks, fix it.” It didn’t matter if we did it the right way or made a mistake trying, we were always praised for taking action. Even if we got it wrong.

When problems pop up at work, don’t hesitate to work around them to get the job done. Take action, don’t waste time, push yourself, have moxie and set the example. That’s what leaders do.

3. Have courage. Dad showed us there is Moral courage and Physical courage. Moral courage is having the inner strength to do the right thing and to take the blame if you are at fault. Physical courage means you can hang in there and you have the strength to keep on going, even when you are exhausted, and that you can be strong and effective in good times and tough times. Be a leader.

When everything looks bleak be the one to stand up, lean in and be strong. Have the courage to be the best example and don’t be afraid to try. You will be recognized as a leader.

There were a lot more lessons from dad but I’ll save some for later. Today I’m going to reflect on these three qualities that he thought were necessary in order to be respected and to be a leader: *Integrity, *Initiative, *Courage.

Thanks again Dad, I miss you.