On this Father’s Day in 2022, I want to reflect on the sayings my Dad would repeatedly drill into my head growing up. My Dad is a 20 year Army veteran who always prioritized his family and community. His communication could be blunt at times, but the point he would try to make would be spot on and fitting for the situation at hand. The following are the 3 most common sayings I have heard from him throughout my life.
While in today’s culture it may be considered non-PC and NSFW, my dad was a senior NCO in the Army during the 1980s. The 7 P’s stood for Proper Planning and Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance. I’ve had to leave out a “P” when communicating this tenet during my leadership positions, but the underlying theory is still sound and should be practiced at all times. Planning for the worst-case scenarios has the added value of instilling confidence in your team that no matter what happens, they are prepared to act and execute successfully. The only way to help a person get over their fear and anxiety about an interview or a presentation, is to fully prepare with practice, practice, and more practice.
One “Aw Shit” wipes out a hundred “Atta Boys”
Again, not PC, but the basis to this saying was that one big mistake can negate numerous previous successes. This is akin to “you’re only as good as the last deed you completed”. Personally, I don’t totally agree with this saying, and I’m more inclined to believe that the previous successes can often help to build a sort of buffer to the mistakes that all humans make from time to time. However, I understand the concept my Dad was trying to explain to me, that the consistency of your performance is one of the most important ingredients to your brand and reputation.
Don’t blame your team, blame your self
This saying actually had multiple connotations, but all were applicable. One time I was complaining about a baseball team I was on that wasn’t winning and weren’t that good. He said this to me as a way of asking, what else can you do better, in order to help your team? Another time I was complaining about a direct report that I had to let go due to some safety violations. Again this was said to me to ask, what else could you have done to make them better prepared to complete their work in a safe manner? The overall concept is that blaming others doesn’t help the situation that much, but that the important thing is to find where improvements can be made in the only thing that you can truly control, which is yourself.
I’ll end this posting with a very Happy Father’s Day to my Dad, Al. Also a very happy Father’s Day to all the fathers out there. If you can please check out my buddy, Danny’s blog at https://dannyciminise.wixsite.com/danny-ciminise. He has started a blog about being a dad and he’s putting out some great content.