Leadership lessons from a high school drop-out

My Dad never finished high school. Instead, he joined the Navy to serve his country. He’s been serving others his entire life. In addition to the importance of service, here are some other leadership lessons I learned from Dad.

  • All work is noble. Just because a person doesn’t have a degree, doesn’t mean their contributions are less important. Some of the most important work in our society is accomplished by those who may not have a degree. Think about this the next time your trash gets taken out, your meal is served, or the products you need are delivered to your place of business or home.
  • Family first. Work’s important, but it is not an end in itself. It is a way to provide for your family. It is also a way to serve others. My Dad’s the hardest-working man I know. He may not have always liked his job, but he always did what he had to in order to put food on the table, clothes on our back and a roof over our head. He also never failed to help another person in need.
  • Say it. (Don’t assume they know it). My Dad told us often that he loved us and that he was proud of us. He never pushed us into a specific career. He simply encouraged us to serve in an area where we felt called and in a place where we could make a difference. It’s worked out pretty well. All six kids graduated high school. Four went to college and the other two are successful in their own careers.   

I learned a lot from my Dad, and continue to learn from him today. He’ll be the first one to tell you that education is important. He also serves as a great example of a person who didn’t need an education to make a difference in the lives of those he loved the most.  

Happy Father’s Day!


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Filed under Communication, Leadership, Learning

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