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Leave Deeply Missed, part 2

Dad and Mom with my daughter
I was thinking about people that I personally know who model this principle to me of leaving deeply missed (see yesterday's post).  One of the people who came to mind is my own dad.

Dad had a rough start in life which led to some serious orneriness as he became a school aged boy (I didn't let him tell my own boys the stories until they became old enough to know better than to emulate their much admired Grandpa!).  Often in trouble at his little country school, the teacher's were unable to see the raw potential in him.  In seventh grade, he went to see the school guidance counselor about his future. The guidance counselor told Dad that he would never amount to much of anything and that the best he could probably do would be to become a mechanic. Hard to comprehend, but true.  That interaction, while hurtful to the core, became a motivation to prove everyone wrong.

Dad went on in life willing to work hard for every penny he earned.  He started out by delivering eggs. He was the best egg delivery man there ever was, I'm sure. Eventually he landed a job in a small but growing tool and die company.  There, he began to see possibilities for his life that he had never seen before (see my earlier post, "You Can't Be What You Can't See"). As Dad, because of his integrity, strong work ethic and good inter-personal skills, began to move up the ladder in this organization he began to catch a vision of one day not only being an employee but of being a business owner himself.

Eventually the opportunity presented itself and Dad, with Mom by his side in it all,  started his own business. Dad would often get up at 3 AM to be at work before any of the other employees.  He'd plan and organize the day, the work, and his strategy for growing the business.Everything Dad did came out of his passion for the business and his passion for people..  His guiding principles became:

  • Always go the extra mile; don't just meet people's expectations, exceed them
  • Do for others what I would want them to do for me; reward generously those employees who work hard and give their best
  • Follow through and do what I say I will do; if I said a product would be delivered in 1 week, then it will be delivered in a week at all costs
  • Always be honest; no BS'ing anyone, if I don't know the answer just admit it.
  • Care about people for who they are; don't just care about them because they keep the business going.
  • Be generous; the business is blessed to be a blessing so no hoarding allowed
Dad worked hard and gave it his best. He was able to retire early, having built a very successful business that impacted not only the business world, but the lives of his employees, customers, and those who benefited from Mom and Dad's generosity.  Dad sold the business to someone he knew who would take good care of it.  The day he walked out of the doors of the business he and Mom had built for the last time, he left a hole so big that no one could possibly begin to fill it.  This many years later, people still talk about how much they miss Dad running the business. He left deeply missed.

Thanks, Dad and Mom, for your incredible example of giving whatever you did your very best!  I am blessed to have been in the front row as I have watched you live out your exceptional values and principles.  

3 comments:

  1. Hey.... it sure is great to see your parents! Love your post. You are a very gifted writer.

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  2. Thanks, Judy! I know they'd love to see you again sometime... they still ask about my friends from college!

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  3. love the tribute to you dad, a very good man. love the surprising potential people have to surprise everyone...and also the subtle reminder that WE have to be the ones to go ahead and LIVE out a good story, not jsut let people tell us what that story is bound to be (good or bad). :-)

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