The best fatherly advice my LinkedIn connections ever received

A few weeks ago, my LinkedIn connections shared the best advice their Dads ever gave them. While Dads come from all educational, professional and cultural backgrounds, some advice, like the importance of teamwork, is timeless and universal. And, as Dr. Sylvain Charlebois pointed out, the source of the advice really makes a difference.

Many people will give us advice and there’s no shortage of tips on the Internet, but we will only see a few people model and enforce it daily for decades. That’s pretty special.

Happy Father’s Day to Dads everywhere. If you are lucky enough to still have your dad, be sure to tell him you love him. Tell him about one specific piece of advice he gave you, the behaviour that brought about and the impact it has had on you personally and professionally.

From the collected wisdom of my network:

Be accountable. Be responsible. Avoid issues before they arise.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAw2AAAAJDY0N2RhNDU5LTMyODctNDRhYy04ZTMzLTJkYzQzNWQyZTI2NgLynn Vanschaik wrote: “My dad, now 97 years young. Gave me advice back when I was 16 years old. … He said: “Drive likes it’s not paid for” and “if you break it, make sure you fix it before you bring it home and tell me,” and he meant it. To this day my cars have been tidy, filled with gas, air pressure checked and maintenance done in advance to avoid issues or breakdowns. Life is more seamless and effective with this great guidance.”
Lead by example every day. Value the power of your team.
Advice no.1: Leadership is important, but team leadership is even more powerful. Quite obvious, really.
Advice no.2: Life can be messy, but always lead by example, every single day, no matter what happens.”
Not earth-shattering material, but it made a difference coming from Dad.
Be loyal. Serve the people you lead.
36adc40Bruce Manion observed: “My father simply said that leadership was all about loyalty to the people you were leading. It was not about you but about them. What flowed from that concept was that your people would do their very best when they knew that you had their backs and go to the wall for them. He also told me to never work for a leader who did not adhere to that principle. I have worked both for leaders who followed that principle and for some who did not. I was always at my very best in the former situation and did not stay long when the latter situation prevailed. My father was Jack Manion, a long-time senior public servant renowned for his leadership and ethics. It would be very interesting to get his take on what passes for effective leadership these days.”
Work hard. Believe in yourself.
Josée Touchette, LLL, CPA, MBA, ICD.D valued her Dad’s encouragement: “My father told me I could be anything I wanted, as long as I worked hard and was true to my values . He probably never realized it, but he was a feminist. And I am a very lucky woman to have had such a loving father who believed in me.”
Get all the information, analyze, then decide.
Matthew Bondy, M.A. quips: “It’s almost irritating to write this down because I’ve heard it so much over the years, but here it is: ‘Get all the information, separate the wheat from the chaff, and then make your decision.’ It’s so easy to over-complicate things. And when you have tough decisions to make, it’s helpful to focus on a solid, simple decision-making *process* that organizes information in a clear, sequential way.”
Respect everyone. Focus on team success and recognition.
Anne MacKay lives up to what her Dad taught her. She writes: “My dad, Ken, doesn’t talk so much about his approach but he demonstrates beautifully. First, he treats everyone the same with the same degree of respect. Second, you succeed as a whole – if one of your team needs help, you give it and you share credit with all the folks who made progress possible. Great lessons!”


Go team!
Kimberly Leach also had a Dad who was a proponent of teamwork. She says:” at a young and impressionable age I remember my Dad telling me that “teamwork” gets the job done ! No truer words said.”
Thank you to today’s contributors. I’ve seen many of you apply these very lessons and the world is better for it.
You can read all about my Dad’s leadership advice and please share what were the most valuable lessons your Dad taught you. They live on long after Father’s Day!
P.S. I don’t know why the formatting appears wonky in this post. I assure you, I have left plenty of spaces between paragraphs. I could spend the the next few hours trying to figure it out, but I have to make dips for a party this afternoon. Family first. Formatting second.

Published by Dominique O'Rourke

Public Affairs professional, City Councillor, MA Leadership graduate, problem solver and lifelong learner.

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