What Does “Dad” Look Like

IMG_5473Dad, Father, Pops are all the words used to described my Dad and myself.  As I sit in my “creative space” (office) on this Father’s Day, I thought I would share my thoughts on what a “Dad” looks like.

Here they are:

  1. Unconditional Love – As a dad, I realized early on in my daughter’s life the need for unconditional love.  Loving our children is a forever endeavor.  It is not something we bounce around based on what they do or say.  Dads must hold on tightly, even when the going gets tough.  We must love our children at their very best and their lowest low.  We must love regardless of situations and circumstances.  Our unconditional love will be an example that our children can build their lives upon with their families and those they come in contact with.  After all, we experience unconditional love through our Heavenly Father, Psalm 36:5 -7 Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.
  2. Encouragement – A dad must be a great encourager.  I still reflect back on my Dad’s encouragement while I was in the batter’s box, entering the work force, considering marriage and family and going back to college.  I loved encouraging my daughter throughout her life.  I love it even more now that she is married and has given me a grand daughter.  My goal is to provide sincere encouragement in all things of life through biblical principles.  I believe sincere encouragement gives hope.  Hope and encouragement go hand in hand.  There is no situation or circumstance that one can’t endure when encouragement and hope are sought from the Word of God.  Psalm 55:22, Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
  3. Relationship – A dad’s relationship with his children is one of the most defining attributes of a child’s character.  That relationship plays a very critical part of a child’s emotional well-being.   A dad who is affectionate, encouraging and involved in a child’s life creates a sense of well-being, good self-esteem, and a strong sense of character. I believe our relationship with our children creates a sense of love, trust and mutual respect.  When a child feels secure, loved and cherished, they will reciprocate the same to others.  “The father of a righteous child has great joy; a man who fathers a wise son rejoices in him.” — Proverbs 23:24
  4. Influence – A dad has great influence on their children.  One must understand; however, the influence can be both good and bad.  As a dad, my desire was and is to always have a positive influence on my daughter.  My dad had an influence on me in may areas and ways. In fact his influence has gently driven my life and indirectly determined who I am and what I believe. Proverbs 113:30 says,“Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.”
  5. Legacy  We will all leave something for our children.  The question is what is it?  A legacy isn’t something which we have no control over, but rather, we can choose the way in which our influence will remain once we’re gone. Like the shadow our character casts as we walk down the sidewalk, so too will our legacy follow us when we are gone.  The great basketball coach, John Wooden said,  “There is a choice you make in everything you do. So keep in mind that in the end, the choice you make, makes you.”  My constant prayer is that my choices would lead to a legacy of a deep love for the Word and things of God and the attributes of a solid, strong character. Deuteronomy 12:28 says, “careful to obey all these words that I command you, that it may go well with you and with your children after you forever, when you do what is good and right in the sight of the Lord your God.”

I thank the Lord every day for allowing me to be a dad.  I also thank him for my dad.  At the age of 82, I still listen to his words and heed his Godly wisdom.  I see a man who is still working to show unconditional love, working to build a relationship with his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.  13482971_10206370814733957_8132093746923670676_oHe continues to encourage me in everything and influence in the background.  Above all, I see a man that is striving to leave a legacy of love, character and a devotion to the things of God.

This is my prayer, that I may follow in his footsteps and be half the man he is.



Success, what does it look like?  I get ask this question in many different ways.  Many ask what career steps I took to get ready for my current position as VP.  Others ask what it takes to become an effective leader.  Some have even asked what specific steps did you take to move up in your career.Fotosearch_k8316178

I recently spoke to several groups at the EHS Seminar for the Texas Chemical Council in Galveston, TX.  During a break, I was asked by a young professional what specific steps he could take to help him achieve his goal of VP.  I thought about that for a while and realized there were no real organized steps, but rather there were principles I embraced and embodied as a person and professional.  Let me share those with you.

  1. WORK/LIFE BALANCE – I have always put my faith and family above my job.  That doesn’t mean I haven’t worked seven days a week and 1 4hr or more days.  I have in fact done that and still do at times.  However, I’ve found that when I correctly balance my faith, family and work, my overall joy increases with my family and those I encounter. I’m happier at home and at work and I accomplish more and I become more efficient.  For many (including myself) work is satisfying and gives us a purpose and since of accomplishment.  However, without our faith and family, what good hard work?
  2. PASSION – I am so tired of hearing professionals tell me how much they hate or despise their jobs or situations.  If you hate what you do, THEN LEAVE!  Find a job you love, something that you can achieve and accomplish greatness.  Something that makes you happy.  Passion fuels your will power as a leader. Without it, you’ll lack the vigor to drive change and overcome obstacles. Without passion you quit!  By finding and following your passion—you’ll end up becoming a more dedicated, productive person.  A person who is happy, satisfied and content.
  3. EXCEED EXPECTATIONS – Expectations are the core of everything we do and everything that gets done.  Meeting expectations is what people do.  When you go into an annual review and meet expectations you receive an “average” rating and probably an “average” raise.  HOW BORING!  Average is boring, everyone is average. If you want to separate yourself from average, then you must “exceed expectations”! Exceeding expectations creates excitement.  It increases results in personal and company growth. Exceeding expectations sets you apart from everyone else. It also ensures you value people. When you value people you can accomplish anything.
  4. CHARACTER – Character is who you are inside portrayed through your actions and behaviors on the outside.  Character is who you are and who you are determines if people will follow. If people follow, then you can influence them, if you can influence them, then you can lead them! Your Character determines your reputation. Your reputation is built upon who you are internally, because that is what ultimately comes out and what people see.  Abraham Lincoln said, “Character is the Tree, Reputation is the Shadow.”Focus on being better on the inside than the outside, over time you will become better on the outside.
  5. BE HUMBLE- Leaders are typically those who have ambition, are very talented and confident when making decisions and interacting with people. But most of us don’t think of leaders as humble or describe them with the word “humility”.  Fotosearch_k16410884In fact, I think most leaders shy away from humility because they feel it is a sign of weakness or self-doubt. I totally disagree. I think a humble leader is one who has wisdom and self assuredness, someone who is not afraid to admit a mistake or that they might not have the best solution or answer.  Humility is the opposite of Pride. Ezra Taft Benson said, “Pride is concerned with who is right, humility is concerned with what is right.”  Humility does not come easy. We all want people to look up to us and think we have the answers and know the way. Benjamin Franklin once said, “there is perhaps not one of our natural passions so hard to subdue as pride. Beat it down, stifle it, mortify it as much as one pleases, it is still alive. Even if I could conceive that I had completely overcome it, I should probably be proud of my humility.”  The great college basketball coach John Wooden often told his players, “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be thankful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.”  C.S. Lewis said this, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”  

Follow these five (5) principles and I suspect you will be a successful leader, thus allowing you to grow professionally.  Remember it not always the job, money or position that indicates success.