Friday, August 16, 2019

Dad advice: It’s all about people

Maddie and Gracie,

The last few months have been difficult but, they have affirmed my belief in one absolute in this life: it’s all about people. How you treat people reflects your character and being a leader is entirely about character. From a local group to a large organization, it starts with the character of leadership and how that leadership effects people.

Being a leader, in my mind, comes down to some basic, simple “Musts” for success - and by success I don’t mean wealth but, the richness of fulfillment that comes from bringing shared prosperity to your people.

10 Absolute Leadership Musts

- Listen to your people
- Learn the strengths of your people
- Inform your people
- Empower your people  
- Encourage your people 
- Serve beside your people
- Reward your people
- Respect the dignity of your people
- Honor the sacrifices given by your people
- Express the importance of your people to all of your people

Successful leadership comes down entirely to one word: PEOPLE

The success of an organization, or a team, is based upon a foundation of leadership that reflects its genuine character. Without people there is no team and without a team there can be no success for an organization.

If given the opportunity and privilege to lead, be humble, lead by example, and communicate frequently with your team. Show respect, gratitude, and patience. Learn as much from your people as you teach and always make their concerns your concerns.

I hope this helps you someday.



Sunday, July 7, 2019

Dad Advice: Things Will All Work Out

Maddie & Gracie,

As you know our family is on the precipice of major change with Dad’s job but, even in this challenging and uncertain time, with stress and anxiety running high, we can learn from the moment and in by how our character responds.

I do not believe in luck, fate, superstitions, or a preordained master plan. I believe in cause and effect, actions having equal and opposite reactions, probability, statistics, preparedness, reason, and logic. When someone says - with kind and consoling intent - that “things will all work out”, surprisingly, I agree 100 percent.

I agree not because I place my faith in some unseen force working behind the ethereal curtain instead, I have faith in myself, my character, in the positive interactions conducted throughout my life, the bonds I forged, and in the counsel of those with whom I love and surround myself. I have absorbed hundreds of lessons from numerous mentors whose teachings helped shape the person I am today. Because of this culmination and the support of my loving family, I have absolute faith that my compassion, dedication, work ethic, knowledge, experience, demeanor, dignity, values, talents, passion, drive, skills, and abilities grant me the means to make sure “things will all work out”.

This is no braggadocio or self flattery, it is reinforcing a truth that each of us has the ability to adapt and achieve but, not by waiting around hopelessly - hands raised skyward - yielding to the thought that something will just happen to make it all better. Seek strength in your character, gather love from those around you, and have faith in who you are and what you can accomplish - for only you can navigate your future, wield your power, and make sure “things will all work out.”

Remember, I believe in you.



Sunday, March 3, 2019

Dad Advice: Dating and Love

Maddie & Gracie,

Someday you will want to...(sigh) So, here is what I need you to know and understand about dating.

1. Parents fear their children dating because it is fraught with the potential to get hurt. Remember, we only want what is best for you. Admittedly, it took a while to find your mother and achieve the happiness for which I had been searching. I had some disappointments along the way and, I am sure to have had disappointed others as well. Take your time, protect yourself, and never fear coming to me or your mother for support, advice, guidance, and understanding...we’ve all been there.

2. I hope that you will seek someone who values you as much as I do and will treat you as I have done. Kindness, caring, friendship, affection, appreciation, consideration, empathy, laughter, dignity, and respect should all be expressed, unconsciously, by the person whom you choose to be with.  Never stay with someone who does not appreciate you for exactly who you are and does not show you the courtesy you deserve. Know your value and never let someone else dictate your worth. 

3. Life is entirely too short to limit your chances for achieving true happiness and experiencing unconditional joy in your life. In my opinion race, gender, religion, orientation, nationality, and class present no significance when searching for that special someone. It ultimately does not matter. If you find someone who brings joy into your life and loves you as much as I do, than hold onto that person and never worry about what others may think or say. 

We will always - ALWAYS - have your back and believe in you.



Dad Advice: Know Your Value

Maddie & Gracie,

As I have told you many times throughout your lives: You. Are. Wonderful. I see you for who you are, who you will become, and it brings me great joy to envision your future.  

Both of you are intelligent, compassionate, caring, funny, beautiful, kind, and loving young women. You should always embrace the goodness instilled in you and endeavour to make this world a better place by extolling your virtues.

Never let anyone succeed in diminishing your self worth. Do not let yourself be defined simply by what others may think of you. Stay true to who you are and who you want the world to see you as by projecting your confidence and using your mind, heart, skills, ideals, principles, and beliefs to forge your happiness. 

Believe in yourselves and what you can accomplish when you focus your desire and will to succeed. Use your passion to overcome the obstacles that may stand in your way but, do so while wielding kindness, reason, facts, and empathy to navigate your path in life.

Embrace your shortcomings and weave your failures into your greater character as rounded personal growth relies on the teachings learned in both your victories and defeats. 

See yourselves as your Mom and I see you, for we could not be prouder.



Saturday, March 2, 2019

Dad Advice: Introduction

Maddie & Gracie,

I was the first to hold each of you when you were delivered into this world. I am not ashamed to say that tears of joy streamed down my face when you were born because, in that moment, I was completely overcome with a feeling of love.  I had never imagined that I would be awash with such powerful and humbling emotions - emotions that came from instantaneously loving someone so unquestionably and entirely. It is you two that delivered into my life the meaning and purpose I had not yet known it so desperately needed.

With the passing of my friend and coworker, John Heaney, I realize that this existence is so fleeting that time may not always be available to express to you all the hopes and dreams I wish for your future. Though I pontificate to you on a somewhat regular basis, I thought it best to start writing down some of the lessons and wisdom acquired so far in my life. 

With that in mind, I trust you will read what I have written here as it was intended - to be advice and insight that you could draw upon in the years to come.  Please know that every word I write to you comes from a place of love, caring, and deep reflection that hopefully you can use in your journey.

I love you both very much and feel absolutely blessed, everyday, to have had the privilege of being your father.