How are great leaders made? It’s often a question we ask ourselves at the Jack Welch Management Institute. And while biology may give some a head start in life, much of what we teach in our MBA program centers on how to cultivate the best in yourself so you can cultivate the best in others.
But as we approach Father’s Day, we started to think; it’s not unlike what our dads do for us growing up. So we asked some current students and alumni to share their Father’s Day Advice: “What advice did your dad teach you?” and “What advice do you share with your children?”
Father’s Day Advice:
Mihir Agochiya: “Prepare, Practice and Perform.”
My daughters are very active in many disciplines such as academics, sports, debate, philanthropic causes, and art. They often ask me how to excel or be successful. I tell them: “Prepare, Practice and Perform” in that order. We collectively call this motto the “3Ps”. As parents, we are always challenged with questions, especially when something doesn’t go as planned, they don’t get 100% on a test or lose a tennis match. I ask them to evaluate the problem based on the 3Ps. You will be surprised how they tell me that either they didn’t prepare well or they didn’t practice or just failed to perform. My advice to JWMI dads is to give them Mihir’s 3Ps and look how they transform themselves. Success will be at their doorstep. Two supporting factors are discipline and cultural values.
Carlos Giraldo: “Love what you do and work to be the best at what you do.”
My advice to my children is: Love what you do and work to be the best at what you do. Seek God in all you do and do it for His Glory.
My advice from my father: There’s a saying that “more is caught than taught.” I saw how hard my dad worked to provide for me and make it as an immigrant in this country, who never learned the English language. His work ethic inspired me to try my hardest and to be the best at what I do. He inspired me to be a leader, as he was. No matter the job, whether managing restaurants or bars, working a side job, or running his hot dog cart, he led by example to provide for his family.
Always lead with love. As a child, it is easy to get distracted by life and forget the most important thing about a father/child relationship, love. As a father, love should be the center around disciplining, rewarding and supporting.
Ulises Hubbard: “Be authentic.”
Don’t fall for what’s popular or even for what’s socially acceptable. Do what is right by your values and beliefs, not society’s values and principles.
George Niece: “Each day is an opportunity to learn something new.”
I try to remember that each day we are presented with an opportunity to have a great day and learn something, even when yesterday was fraught with challenge.
With that in mind, I give my children the following advice:
- Seek to understand, before being understood.
- Never go to sleep angry with someone, if you can find a way to open a conversation with another human being.
- Trust, but verify.
- Don’t wait to live your life, seize the moment, work an honest day for your wage, and love fiercely.
Andrew O’Donnell: “Ask tons of questions.”
The best Father’s Day advice I can share is to listen to your father, mother, and your grandparents. They will reveal life’s secrets. Ask them – and other folks with more years than you – tons of specific questions about both the happy and sad moments in their lives. Not because they have all of the answers, but because they have more life experiences and have made mistakes from which you can learn. Then, while following your path, find a way to emulate the moments that brought them joy and avoid those that led to sadness.
This same advice should be applied as an adult as well when one works professionally with a mentor.
Thanks to our students and alumni for their great leadership advice. Enjoy Father’s Day!
Have great Father’s Day advice? Connect with us on our JWMI Networking Group on LinkedIn. Find us here.