I’ve often wondered how I became a leader. My mom would tell you that I’ve always been a bit on the bossy side (my younger sister & brother would probably agree!) She would also say I seemed to naturally take initiative when I needed to figure out a problem.
But I think it was my Dad who modeled leadership for me. He was kind of bossy too (*wink).
Plus he had a very strong sense of what needed to be done and just did it.
I remember two distinct phrases my Dad said and they have stuck with me in everything I work on, especially when it comes to leading my family, my community and my business.
Lesson 1 - “If you are going to do something…do it right the first time.”
I remember, as a teen, he would call me back into the kitchen when it was my turn to be on clean up after dinner. Dad would point out what I’d missed (it was usually crumbs on the counter or floor) and ask me to finish the job properly. I was always a tad annoyed when this happened, but it showed me that doing a job thoroughly is the right thing to do and actually saves time.
Subsequently, in both my salon and coaching businesses, I’ve been applauded for my attention to detail, my ability to see what’s missing and my knack for acting on it quickly.
Lesson 2 - "When all else fails…read the directions.”
My Dad was hilarious when it came to putting equipment or furniture together. On his quest to get things done quickly, he would often break open the box and start screwing and gluing. But sometimes he would get stuck in the process of intuitive creation and have to break out the instructions.
By that time, he was frustrated and kinda cranky. However, he was willing to stop what he was doing and go back on his steps to see where he went wrong.
Once he realized this was the only way to get it done, he'd shrug his shoulders and give over to following directions.
Throughout the years, my ego has occasionally gotten in the way of asking for help, but I’ve learned that there is no shame in admitting I’m in over my head and asking for direction. In fact, I have realized that recognizing when I need help is a leadership characteristic that has allowed me to have incredible breakthroughs in the moments when I feel like throwing in the towel for good.
I think my Dad may be surprised to hear that his two biggest Dad-isms are what helped prepare me for a long and successful journey as an entrepreneur because we've never really talked about it. But I know on this Father’s Day, he’ll be delighted to know for sure. Happy Father's Day Dad!
Who was your leadership mentor? And what kinds of things did they say that stuck with you? Leave a note in the comments…I’d love to hear your story!