Advice from Dad

Dear, Readers,

This touching car commercial shows a dad teaching his daughter a valuable lesson in self-reliance. “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst” is an axiom that all of us can also apply on the job.

In honor of Father’s Day, let’s take a look at some other lessons and advice from dear old dad and their application in the world of work.

“When I was your age, I had to walk (insert large number here) miles to school.” It’s helpful to keep your business’s roots in mind, particularly the values upon which it was founded.

“If everyone jumped off a bridge, would you?” By the same token, don’t just settle for business as usual. Constantly innovate and do things differently.

Tie“How will you know if you don’t try?” While this may have applied to tasting your peas as a toddler, develop a business culture where employees are not penalized for trying (and possibly failing with) new ideas.

“I wasn’t born yesterday, Mister.” Really? Your great-aunt died… again? You may think your employer just fell off the turnip truck, but I wouldn’t recommend using these excuses for a day off work: http://business.time.com/2012/10/30/funniest-excuses-for-missing-work/

“There are starving people in Africa who would gladly eat your dinner.” Substitute “starving” with “jobless,” “Africa” with “America,” and “eat your dinner” with “do your job.”

 “Don’t burn the candle at both ends.” When you, in your teenage invincibility, overloaded your schedule with school, sports, and extracurricular activities, your wise father figure knew that you could only handle the pace for a limited time. Just so on the job.

“No one on their deathbed ever said, ‘I wish I’d spent more time at the office.’ ” Maybe it was your much older grandfather, with the benefit of hindsight, who reminds you of the need for a work-life balance.

On the flip side, do NOT use these fatherly expressions in business situations:

  • “I brought you into this world, and I can take you out.” While it’s true that if you hired someone, you can indeed fire them, reigning with fear won’t endear you to your employees.
  • “This is going to hurt you more than it’s going to hurt me.” When you are letting someone go, it really is going to hurt them more.
  • “You’ll live.” A little compassion when your direct report complains about aches and pains will make you a more well-liked manager.
  • “Because I said so.” A few words of explanation will help your employee understand the importance of a procedure, rule, or task.

Readers: What piece of fatherly advice have you been able to translate to the work world? Don’t remember? Go ask your mother.

Have a question you would like to ask? Visit http://anitaclew.com/ask-anita/.

Disclaimer

Anita Clew's blog posts are intended for general guidance and should never be taken as legal advice. In all instances where harassment, inequity, or unfair treatment is believed to be present, please consult your HR Department or legal representation.
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