Father teaching sonWith Father’s Day upon us, what better time to reflect back upon the lessons our dads taught us?  For many of us, our father was our first teacher and mentor, sharing wisdom and advice that becomes even more poignant once they’re gone.

My father passed away recently, as did Carol’s, but the lessons learned from our dads live on in each of us.  In fact, when faced with a tough business challenge or a curve ball thrown by life, I simply ask, “what would dad do?”

My own dad worked at WBZ-TV in Boston for 37 years, and I was proud to follow in his footsteps and work in the television business, first in Boston and later in Los Angeles.  He was a wonderful mentor and role model, and he taught me many things – almost all of which can be applied for success in business.  I’m happy to share a few of those lessons here:

  1. Treat People Right – As I listened to the tributes at my dad’s recent memorial service, I was struck by how many people said they were treated so kindly by him.  He made everyone feel special and important.  Wouldn’t the world be a little better if everyone did the same?
  2. Keep Your Commitments – Dad had a tireless dedication to both his family and his work.  He believed in keeping his word and delivering on his commitments.  Sometimes promises are made and broken too quickly.  Do what you say you’re going to do.
  3. Live Your Own Life – If you try to please everyone, you please no one.  If you spend your life trying to please or impress someone else, you lose yourself.  Stick to your convictions and make your life your example.
  4. Pursue Your Passions – Dad often kidded that on his tombstone he wanted the words, “Wow, that was quick!”  It’s funny, but true.  Tomorrow is not guaranteed. Don’t waste a moment doing something you’re not passionate about.
  5. Always Go the Extra Mile – If you’re going to do something, do it right.  Then do more.  Don’t just deliver… over deliver.
  6. Don’t Take Any Shit – It’s great to be a kind, giving person, but that doesn’t mean you should let anyone take advantage of your good nature.  ‘Nuff said.
  7. Reputation Matters – If you heed the advice above, this one should take care of itself.  At the end of the day, all you have is your reputation, so build and guard it carefully.

I hope you find some of dad’s axioms helpful as you continue to grow your business and pursue your dreams…