While I realize that this may initially look as though it is not appropriate for LinkedIn, please keep reading. Through my father, I learned a lot about the kinds of people my bosses were and what kinds of companies I was with. I’ve had some good bosses and some great bosses and they all shared a common trait. They cared about each of their team members and realized that by taking an interest in their lives, not just on the surface level, their employees would become more invested in their roles and the company.
So, what has this got to do with my father? Well, my father battled cancer (multiple myeloma) for 22 years. In December, we lost him from this world. For the last eight years he lived with me. I worked from home, so I had the flexibility to make sure he was OK. My dad loved hearing about the deals I was working on and the characters I used to deal with. He absolutely loved SWAG. Between the Tivoli shirts, the Druva socks, the HP backpack, the Symantec pens, the IBM jackets, he was fully decked out every day. He was like a walking billboard. I used to chuckle every time he’d go to the hospital and invariably someone would ask him a technical question and he’d smile and say, “no that’s my boy’s company, I just make chocolate”. My father didn’t “just do” anything. He made chocolate with a passion and it was just another avenue to display his zest for life. He realized that if you make a quality product and you sell it with a smile, it carries tremendous value.
Back to the bosses. For the last few years, my father really struggled. He became wheelchair bound and needed to go down to the hospital three to four days a week. I would take him down and work from the conference or family rooms. If I had a lunch meeting or a meeting far from the house or an exotic place, you may not have known it, but my father was there like Sam Jackson (Mr. Glass) in Unbreakable, I’d arrive early so we could get him set up and while we were discussing business, my dad would be at another table enjoying lunch. My bosses knew this, and not only did they not mind, they used to laugh at some of the adventures he would get into. If you think it is bad when your mother hops on the other phone line when you’re talking to the boy or girl you like, try being on a conference call with customers when your dad hops on, or starts talking to you in the middle of a demo. Truth is no one ever minded. I found out that people are human. Occasionally, they would engage him in conversation. I had a customer, in all sincerity, ask where my father was because he had bought my father some SWAG.
My bosses told me there was only one rule when it came to my dad. Just keep them in the loop if anything happened. They would cover me if I needed to miss anything. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, they had my back. As with my clients, the golden rule applied; over-communicate. Take care of your employees and they’ll take care of you. I tried to repay them the best way I knew how. By performing. I learned quickly that a boss doesn’t just give guidance, coaching, and direction, he or she also helps remove obstacles and allows you to do what you do best. To Ryan, Ruta, Cindy, Jason, Barry, Tom, Randy, Mark, Kevin, Jeff, Rich, Pete, Jaspreet, and Bill: Thank you. I appreciate the many years of support and understanding.
My father loved being his own boss. Whether large scale manufacturing or high-end retail, he just wanted to control his own destiny. He loved the challenge. How he performed was directly correlated to both his own effort and the effort of his people. Like every kid who idolizes his father, my father has inspired my next venture. Building on the knowledge, support, passion, and humility that was passed from my father and my bosses, I know how I want to build and grow my business. I know what kinds of people I want to hire. I want to treat my clients with the same level of white-glove treatment that my father showed all his clients. I’m proud to launch my company, Data Curation, LLC. Let me show you how we can help. No biases, just honest advice and guidance on how to choose the right solution, for the right price, that will fulfill all your wants and needs. Check us out at www.datacuration.io
Dad - thank you for teaching and showing me how to live, how to behave, and how to be a better me. I miss you so very much.
Data Curation, LLC.