Sunday, June 22, 2008

My Challenge: Father's Day

This is the challenge I issued this week: In honour of Father's Day and since mine has been on my mind of late: tell me, what is the greatest lesson you ever learned from your father?

My dad is a great man, by any and all standards. Those standards are high, because he determines them - and why not shoot for the moon? He has huge expectations of himself and also of others. This does not mean he is not compassionate or charitable, just that he has a certain way of looking at things.

He is intelligent, complex, nurturing, thoughtful, honourable, decent, demanding and kind. He is viewed by many as one of the most intelligent, creative financiers ever. I mean ever. My dad is a rock star in financial circles. Mention his name and bespeckled, balding men shreak in delight that I actually know the great man himself, let alone that I am related to him!

Years ago, when I was working in Calgary, I realized that it didn't matter if I worked for him in the company he ran, or any other corporate entitiy, there would be a huge expectation of my performance. I lived up to that expectation.

I learned many great lessons because of, and in spite of, my father (my sisters, and some friends reading this will know the direct quotes; the rest are paraphrases):

  • Many can depend on you, but you can only depend on yourself. (He is a great proponent of personal responsibility.)
  • Being in the majority has nothing to do with being right.
  • You can only "buy" people who are willing to be "owned". People who can be bought are not worth having around.
  • If a man, covered in blood, came to the door with a dripping knife in hand and asked for one of his daughters; he would lie. Otherwise, don't.
  • Be decent. Be kind. Be loyal.
  • Women are tough. Tougher than men. Do not crush him.
  • Life is full of choices: live with the courage of your convictions.
  • Be generous with your time and spirit.

All lessons in character. To my father, you are nothing without character. Character is all about what you want to be. It is a work in progress. Character is judged from within.

His favourite quote: "I believe the key to happiness is: someone to love, something to do, and something to look forward to." Elvis Presley was one of his many heros. This is precisely how he lives his life. Most days, he is a very happy man!

Flaws? Yes, he has a few of those, too. Plenty in fact. Some of what I've written could be considered by some to be flaws, but I don't. And, since this is my blog, that's all that matters :)

1 comment:

CloverGirl said...

What a wonderful reflection of your dad, Lee!