I woke up on Sunday, Fathers Day, thinking about my dad, John G. Mulhern, 1/11/28 – 10/16/96.
I ask you to hit the comments today and share the answer to the question that arose for me, which I will offer and respond to here.
What were the most important gifts I received from dad?
- Life, of course, and hell yes.
- 6 wonderful siblings.
And beyond that three more incredible gifts:
- He worked so hard. Seven kids. Jobs (bosses!) he often despised, but could not quit, could not escape, because so much rested upon his shoulders. My friend Warren Farrell says, “fathers historically had to leave their families to love their families.” And my dad did just that, somehow funding seven college degrees in the process. Imagine that! (Farrell’s recent book, The Boy Crisis, is critical reading for parents and teachers and grandparents of boys today.)
- The love he had for Mom. She told us the night before his funeral, “He made me feel like his queen.”
- The fact that the bottom line in life for Dad was LOVE. The ultimate ruler to measure our lives was this: were you selfless or selfish.
Kouzes and Posner’s first law of leadership is “You won’t believe the message if you don’t believe the messenger.” Dad never talked about #1 and #2 – how hard he worked and the love he had for Mom. Number three he talked and walked. But he LIVED all three of those lessons.
LEADERSHIP if it’s about anything is about what REALLY MATTERS.
I wonder what core lessons you received from your dad and embraced. Why not comment and we can all savor in the greatness of our dads. And if you didn’t have a traditional dad, as I felt lucky to have, feel free to share what other father figures brought you. And of course share what your mom taught you that is core to how you live, and
Lead with your best self!
(And why not add a comment below, a testimony to your dad and your core values.)