I lost my lifetime mentor when my Dad passed away on Monday of last week. He had fought a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease, having been diagnosed 15 years ago.
I will greatly miss him, but it is certainly a blessing knowing that my Dad no longer suffers and is now in heaven, living eternally in the presence of Jesus, and my Mom, and all his family members that have gone before him. Additionally, I have an immense amount of positive memories and lessons that I have learned from my Dad during my lifetime that will continue to serve me through the balance of my life.
I would like to share some of those lessons he taught me about servant leadership.
- My Dad taught me the importance of humility. He was the humblest of men, never looking to bring attention to himself, but instead always working behind the scenes on behalf of his family and co-workers.
- My Dad taught me the importance of hard work and a commitment to excellence. As a printer, there were always deadlines to meet and he never called it a day until the work was done, at the highest level of quality standards.
- My Dad taught me the importance of selflessness. Even though he was always busy with his job, yard work, or general work around the house, he always had time for me when I wanted it. He would spend countless hours catching me while I pitched to him in the summer, or playing Ping-Pong with me in the winter, or talking “shop” as I learned the printing trade.
- My Dad taught me the importance of commitment to core values. There was never any question in our household that all we had was a gift of God, and it was up to us to be good stewards of the gifts that we had been given. And when he drew a line in the sand…I knew not to cross it or there would be consequences.
- My Dad taught me the importance of positive recognition. After any sporting event that I participated in, my Dad would always have a positive comment about some aspect of the game. Even when I probably didn’t deserve it, he would find a way to build me up. That carried on into my working years as well. My Dad was my biggest cheerleader.
- My Dad taught me the importance of mutual respect and trust. Having worked in the printing industry his entire life, from the bottom-up, he had a huge amount of respect for all people in the organization, no matter what their role. I never forgot that.
All of us have significant mentors in our lives. Please make sure you take the time to thank them for the difference they made in your life. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to thank my Dad for all he did for me, and for being such an amazing role model to me, all of his children, and his grandchildren! We were blessed by his love for us, and his presence in our lives. Give your mentors a gift, and thank them for what they have done for you!
PS: I also thank my Dad for raising me a St. Louis Cardinals fan. It has brought a lot of pleasure and fun in my life.