Fathers

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Photo by The LIPI Camera Club

Do you have a father? … Of course you do! Everyone, by definition, has a father and a mother. You may have a great father with whom you enjoy spending time. Or your father may be absent (for a number of reasons). Some of you may never have truly known your father. Others may be fortunate enough to see their fathers every day.

As I write my article for the week, it is Father’s Day here in the Philippines. I’m fortunate to have a wonderful dad and be the father of 3 wonderful children. I called my dad and received cards from my kids. Unfortunately, I was not able to see my dad or my kids today because I’m on the other side of the world from them at the moment. My daughter is on a summer holiday in the US and my sons are working in Arizona and South Carolina.

However, please don’t feel sorry for me. I’m blessed to have a great family, a great dad (and mother), great kids, and a great wife. I love them and they love me. We do have opportunities to see each other, talk, text, Skype, and maintain a strong relationship.

This past week, ironically, I had a beautiful opportunity to spend several hours at a local home for girls. These 47 amazing young ladies come from challenging backgrounds. Most do not have their fathers (or mothers). Some are orphans. Others have parents (or parent) who are financially unable to care for them. These young ladies have very little in the way of material possessions and yet are happy to have a clean bed, a roof over their head, and food to eat.

They were amazing. They were friendly. Smiling. Laughing. They were thrilled to have visitors (I went with a group from work to the home). We took food, played games, and watched them sing/dance (it’s in the Filipino DNA!). What I noticed was that these wonderful young ladies wanted one thing more than any other – to be loved. They wanted to spend time with us. Hold our hands. Tell us about their lives. Hear about our families, our hobbies, and our work. They wanted to play with us. And sing. And dance. … Did I mention these girls were amazing? They were truly special.

As I reflected on the visit during the last several days, I kept coming back to the following:

  1. As leaders, we have an obligation to serve others.
  2. Serving others, as a team (work group or family) is truly a bonding and team-building experience.
  3. We generally learn more and receive more than we give (if we keep our minds & hearts open).
  4. There is a special place for fathers in our lives. There is also an appropriate place for fatherly (and motherly) love, guidance, and service within corporate organizations (or academic, athletic, government, etc.).
  5. As leaders, we have an incredible opportunity to serve as role-models.
  6. Never forget to appreciate what you have. Tell others you love them. Count your blessings. Have a thankful heart.
  7. Within your organization (or family), look for others who are hurting. Talk with them. Listen. Love them. Be there for them.

Loving others and corporate, bottom-line results are not mutually exclusive. In fact, I think the two are intertwined. The organization that desires to achieve lasting results over the long-haul, is well served by treating others well. Their employees. Their suppliers. Their customers. Their shareholders. Their governmental agencies. Their neighbors.

World-class leadership is about the head and the heart. Deliver excellent results. Serve others. … Tell your father you love him if he’s around. Appreciate what you have. Help others in a tangible, practical manner when possible.

How are you serving others? How are you giving back?

As always, the floor is open to your comments, suggestions, thoughts, and feedback.

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