Thoughts on Leadership: Fathers as Leaders

This Father’s Day, my daughter Alex made me a card (pictured below) titled "What My Dad Taught Me…" She mentioned the things she learned from me – everything from learning to ride a bike to the virtues she lives by every day. I decided to share the life lessons she learned from me, what I learned from my own dad, and the thoughts of several close friends of mine on what their fathers taught them. Enjoy the fatherly wisdom!

"My dad taught me patience, the power of positive thinking, and a love for pleasing people. Never in my life have I met someone who works so hard for the people he loves."

-Alex Blefari

"Being a WWII veteran, my dad taught me to have a respect for all life. He also taught me how having a positive attitude impacts everyone, to do the right thing, and to always try my hardest. "

-Gino Blefari Founder, President and CEO Intero Real Estate Services

"My dad taught me compassion – to treat everybody well, put yourself in their shoes and put their needs above your own."

-Bob Moles Founder and Chairman Intero Real Estate Services

"My dad taught me to never shake a family member's hand; always hug them and kiss them and tell them how much you love them every time you see them."

-Tom Tognoli Founder and Chief Operating Officer Intero Real Estate Services

“Some of the things I learned from Dad were: how to love your wife; respect, generosity, and consideration of others; how a hard days work never hurt anybody; the importance of keeping your emotions between the lines- the highs and lows both don’t last long (or forever), along these lines things are usually never as bad…or good…as they may seem; and the final thing he showed me how to do perfectly…how to hit a lazy fade.”

-John Thompson Founder and Executive Vice President Intero Real Estate Services

"My dad was a great salesman. He always said, 'There are more nuts than there are squirrels to eat them. It's a numbers game...play the game!'"

-Mike Ferry Real Estate Coach, Founder Mike Ferry Organization

"My father never made me feel like I had any limitations. This was huge for my confidence. What he did was give me an inner confidence that most people trip on when they are stretching for their goals. He also taught me that there is always room for laughter."

-Kathie Kingston VP and Managing Officer Intero Gilroy

"My father is from the old school and I firmly believe his basic principle applies in today’s business plan: 'Your word is your bond.' If you don’t hold true to your word, you have no worth in business."

-Robert Doucet VP and Managing Officer Intero Willow Glen

"Protection, discipline, love and of course, 'Please don’t tell mom,' are words and phrases that describe my thoughts about my dad!"

-Renee Kunz VP and Managing Officer Intero Hollister

"Some great lessons from my father include: it’s not about how much money you make but how happy you are doing it; care more about others, listen with your heart and talk with honesty; you’re measured by your sacrifices and loyalty in life; always be on time; be committed and follow through!”

-Albert Garibaldi Intero Chairman's Circle, Top 1%

"I think the most important lesson I have learned from my dad is to keep your nose clean and always do the right thing – this way, you won't have to remember what you did. He says to this day that you only have your word and your name so don't sacrifice either for anything."

-Karen Nelsen Intero Chairman's Circle, Top 1%

“One thing I clearly learned from my Dad was a strong work ethic!  ‘Success does not come easy.’ And thankfully, I also inherited his excellent sense of direction!”

-Greg Simpson Intero Chairman's Circle, Top 1%

"My dad taught me to read the book (in other words…always know the instructions on what you’re doing); he told me to learn the computer (before email existed), and he told me to remember there will always be another 'deal'."

-Ivan Margaretich Intero Executive's Circle, Top 10%

I hope you'll find in this exercise that you don't always need to look to famous business and political leaders for guidance on leadership. Sometimes, you get the best insight right from your own dad.