In honor of Father’s Day, I wanted to write about the Leadership lessons that I have learned from my father over the past 30+ years.

My Father:

You see, my father is a retired Full Bird Colonel in the United States Army (just one rank below General). He spent a year in Iraq where he was the Commander of the largest military base in the country, Camp Anaconda in Balad. He was responsible for over ten thousands American Troops.

He also has a civilian career, as head of HR Canada for a Fortune 500 company and he often relates his leadership style to the principles of leadership that he learned in the military over 30+ years. 

My dad also teaches leadership to graduate students at New York University. 

Having over three decades of experience leading troops on the battlefield, to leading little league games for his kids, to leading HR initiatives for major corporations, I know there is A LOT we can all learn from my dad.

Here are six leadership lessons that I have learned from my father.

1. People First:

My dad is a very outgoing person and always treats people with the utmost respect. He always has a kind word to say about everyone and always makes people feel special. You will always hear my dad asking kids for their autographs and inspiring them to do BIG things in their life.

In a similar way, he does the same thing with the people that he leads. He empowers people to do their jobs while at the same time setting high expectations to get employees to the next level. 

“It’s all about taking care of people in the workplace. It is about making sure that they are valued and appreciated for the work that they do, but also empowering them and giving them the proper training and resources needed to get the job done.” ~ Dave Fitzgerald

2. Hard Work:

There are no short cuts in life. You have to give 110% all the time, every day. Success only comes when you work hard and you give everything you’ve got.

3. Always Dress the Part:

People have a tendency to judge others based on the way they present themselves. Dressing the part is half the battle. But you MUST look sharp every single day. My dad always makes sure his shoes are shined, his clothes are pressed, and his suits are tailored.

4. (6 ) P’s: Proper Prior Planning, Prevents Poor Performance:

The 6 P’s, speak for itself. If you plan before you have to execute the goal, you will be better prepared to handle Murphy’s Law (the unexpected) and have a better outcome.

5. The Math Equation to Leadership: (RA + TLC^3 = Objectives):

Have you ever seen a math equation for leadership? It makes total sense…

Let’s break this down: Responsibility and Accountability, + Training, Leadership, and Communication, Constantly, and Concisely = Objectives.

 It is important in leadership to take responsibility and accountability for your team. You also must make sure that your team is well trained and they have the resources they need to be successful on their own.

 Those who report directly to you must be able to lead, communicate clearly, constantly and in a concise manner in order to accomplish the objective.

 My dad believes that if you have all of these pieces working together you can accomplish any goal or objectives set forth.

6. Never Quit:

My dad made sure that we never quit at anything. If we did not like playing a sport, we would have to finish out the season, but not quit in the middle of it.

When the “going gets tough, the tough gets going”. He always taught us to never give up on our dreams and to never quit when things get hard. You work through the challenges and the difficulties. These challenges will not last forever. You hunker down, weather the storm and see it through to the other side.

Thank you dad!

Thank you dad, for your lessons, your guidance, and being a role model. I am very lucky and proud to have a father as great as you.