Pay it Forward on Father's Day

A tie.  A watch.  Golf balls.  A nap. 

Father’s day is an important occasion in our household.  I count myself fortunate to be very close to my dad, to be married to a man who is a wonderful husband and father and to have cherished memories of our grandfathers whom we loved so much.  We are also raising three boys who I hope one day will be good men, husbands and dads too. 

As I reflected about the upcoming holiday, I wondered about what would make the perfect gift for a dad.  What came to mind was the pay it forward idea I associate with mentoring.  Mentors are advisors, encouragers and supporters who give such rich and wonderful help to us along our path.  Because we can never really give back to our mentors, it is our job to pay it forward whenever we can. 

Some of us are very lucky to have dads who are our mentors. 

Dedicated to my Dad, here are the top 3 lessons he has given me and which (I hope) are reflected in my life:

1.       The most important thing you do in life is find your “why”.  Why are you here?  What gifts and talents do you have that must be shared with the world to make it even better?  Once you figure it out, never let it go. Create a life that fully uses your why. 

2.       Your ship can never be in two ports.  For me, family is first.  Always.  Jobs, friends and other things come and go, but you never get a second chance to raise your kids and spend time with your parents and grandparents.  Keeping what is most important to you at the center of your life is not always easy, but it’s worth it.  If you listen, you will know when you get off course. 

3.       Leadership is about a willing heart.  The best leaders are not always the charismatic ones.  Leaders can communicate their ideas and they passionately put the interests of the group before their own.  Leadership is not a title, it’s about touching the lives of others.  "Everything rises and falls on leadership" (John Maxwell). 

Thanks, Dad.  Happy Father’s Day!  I love you.