5 Life Lessons from My Father
How Understanding People Can Lead to Success
I introduced my parents and an important life lesson when I wrote about How a Childhood Lesson Taught Me to Be Cautious of the Narrative. I was fortunate to have two amazing parents who supported and believed in me. A few life lessons from them both have shaped me as a leader and a human being. Today I wanted to share some of what I learned from my father.
1. Read the Room: My father had a great ability to read a room. He could walk into almost any situation and know how to deal with the individuals involved, no matter their station in life. He knew what jokes and stories to tell, and more importantly what not to say to someone. Picking up on these social cues made him welcome everywhere he went. He was the life of the party and could make anyone laugh.
2. Celebrate Success: Speaking of parties, my father celebrated life. He loved having big parties for his friends and family. When he was doing well, he spared no expense to make sure people had a good time. Even when he was not doing well, we still found ways to do something special. He never let anything stand in the way of enjoying life, and neither should you.
3. Listen to and Know Your Customer: My father owned a few different businesses throughout his life. While I was growing up, I listened to him speak about his customers. He knew everything about them. Not just what they needed from a business standpoint, but also their favorite foods, alcohol, and other joys. Every Christmas we went to the liquor store and bought his customers their favorite bottles. He built lasting clients because he built real relationships with them.
4. Give Without Expectation: As I said, when he was doing well for himself, my father was quite generous. That was a way that he showed his appreciation and love for people. He taught me to be generous if you had the ability, but most importantly, to give without expectation. If you give without expectation you can never be disappointed, and however things turn out they will be better than they were before.
5. Follow Trends/Pop Culture: My father was also a comic book and sci-fi nerd. One of his many businesses was a comic store, and even after that closed, he sold collectables and memorabilia online. He let me experience a part of that from a young age, and I helped pick out comics to buy and collect. By reading trade magazines and tracking what was becoming popular in the movies and TV, I got early exposure to the importance of learning trends in any business.
Learn more about others, be generous, have fun, be a nerd, and you might get close to be as cool as my dad was. I know I’m still trying.
These 5 life lessons from my father made me a better leader and a better human being. Let me know if you have any life lessons from a father figure in the comments below. Be sure to check out my podcast!