In honor of Father’s Day this past weekend, I decided to make this week’s posts about some of the career and leadership advice I’ve gotten from my Dad throughout my life. I believe our Dads are such powerful influences on us; whether they are living or not, whether our relationships with them are strong or not, whether we know them well or not, their influence is something most of us carry with us throughout our life.
I am blessed to have a wonderful relationship with my Dad and I know that his beliefs, thoughts and actions have impacted the direction of my life greatly; especially my career and my leadership style. From when I was very young, my Dad stressed the importance of learning and education. There was never any doubt that I would not only go to college but also continue my education well beyond that into graduate and postgraduate school. In fact, the older I got, the more the importance shifted from “education” to “learning”. My Dad lived, and continues to live his life full of diverse interests and is always seeking to learn something new. Before he retired, he was always learning more and more about the focus of his career: corporate law and global government relations. He had an amazingly successful career and, from what I could tell, his constant desire to learn more and better himself was a huge factor in that success. Now that he is retired, he is learning more and more about his passions. He is always reading something new about one of his many passions: wine, the opera, international travel, his new iPad or new mac computer and he continues to pass along his passion about learning to his children and grandchildren.
I have grown up with an internal desire to always learn more and I know this comes from my Dad’s strong influence on me. I am constantly looking to learn new things, seek out advanced education, and even more important that all of that – to learn from others. I believe my career has been successful because of my desire to continue to learn something new from everyone I meet. Every person has such a unique perspective and so much to share based on their own life experience that each encounter with a new person, or repeated encounters with those I know well, are opportunities to expand my horizons and continue to learn new things. Learning from others also adds to what I have to share and pass along to others so it’s like a continuous loop of giving and receiving knowledge. My learning orientation has been a huge factor in the successes I continue to have in my life, both professionally and personally. I am eternally grateful to my Dad for instilling that belief within me.