Dads and Leaders
We don’t just jump in and lead. We learn all along our leadership journey from people that inspire us, books and articles we read, and leaders that have led us on our journey and career path. That is what molds and shapes the kind of leader that we want to be and the leader we are today.
I have had some amazing leaders in my life. Great mentors, great bosses, great partners. And I have taken what I love and value about their leadership and crafted my style over the past 30+ years.
Rich Ottaviano, Sharon Connor, Patrick Lencioni, Simon Sinek, Howard Behar, Maya Angelou, Jon Gordon to name a few. The common thread that each of these leaders have/had is the value of relationships. The importance of putting people first and thinking about the impact on the individual with every decision that is made. Leaders who put relationships first demonstrate integrity, respect, humility, empathy and compassion and it shows up every day. It isn’t a once-in-a-while occurrence. It is how they live their lives, inside and outside the workplace.
The leader I have learned the most from is my dad. Don Walker, WWII veteran, is 97 years old. He has been my greatest teacher, role model, hero and first love. He is the humblest human I know. He was a business owner back in the day and his work ethic had all of the characteristics noted above. He trusted people and he worked harder than any one I know to deliver the best to his customers with a smile and a handshake. He often worked 6 days a week to support his family of 8, but when it was family time, he was all in! To this day, we have conversations about my business. His wisdom continues to carry me. I am blessed to have learned from the best.
As you think about the leaders in your life, those living and those having passed, who are those leaders for you and what did you learn from them?
As we celebrate Father’s Day in a week, blessings to all the dads, grandpas, uncles, dads who stepped in to be a dad for the fatherless, and those father figures who have been there to be a leader to others. You are a hero!