I’ve learned a great many valuable lessons from my father over the years, but the lesson which stands out most to me this evening is that to truly live you must care deeply about people.
Unlike many people I’ve had the privilege of not only relating to my father as a child, but I’ve also had the incredible privilege of working closely with him over the last few years in our family businesses. He came to us from corporate America, and his experience in that arena helped metamorphose our company from a handful of small “mom-and-pop” outfits to the steadily growing and vertically integrated family of businesses they are today. What’s more impressive to me is that he helped us navigate this complex phase in a way that allowed the soul of the company to remain in tact.
If there is one thing I’ve learned about my father over the last few years, it is that he loves to help people give and do their best, no matter how knotty the circumstances might be. He is a great listener, he’s not quick to judge (both are qualities I admire greatly) and he will rarely tell you what to do. Instead, he has an uncanny ability to lead you to discover your own solutions that somehow consistently end up being the right thing to do.
I am but one of many whose life he has touched and transformed over the years and I count it among my greatest blessings and most significant honors these last 41 years to be called his son.
Thanks for being you, Dad. You never cease to amaze me.