Father's Day is an important day that allows us to reflect and give thanks to those that have made an impression on us and contributed to our success. But our kids teach us things too. These highly successful CEOs have offered their views on the lessons they've garnered from fatherhood and how they taught them to become better leaders.
Nate Quigley, CEO and co-founder, Chatbooks
My wife and I have seven kids, and they're each incredibly different! So I've learned to parent each child differently, and that lesson has influenced how I lead my team at Chatbooks. They too are individuals, each with their own strengths, sensitivities, and learning and working styles. So I adapt for each person: just like with kids, there's no one-size-fits all when it comes to motivation and communication.
Brian Petruzzi, CEO and Founder, 1000 Degrees Neapolitan Pizza
As a father of four, leading by example is one of my key focuses. With an audience of children, you must show them that making the choice of putting 100% of yourself into everything that you do is important. This encourages employees to emulate this mantra and teaches people that they can rely on you no matter how large the task. In business and in family, this is a requirement, not an option.
Chuck Maguy, President, Saatchi & Saatchi LA
If I had to boil down my role as a father to one thing, it would be to raise my daughters to believe in themselves. With two daughters both interested in math and science, traditionally male dominated fields, my wife and I have taught them to believe that nothing is impossible. That philosophy is core to my leading Saatchi & Saatchi LA as well. We provide highly creative people support and confidence to dream big and not be afraid to fail. Ideas, especially in the early stages, are fragile. We need to believe in our teammates and ourselves to see them develop and flourish.
David Lopez, CEO and Founder, Dental Fix Rx
Being a father has taught me that communication is not about the message but how what you are saying makes the other person feel. With my kids, their reactions are based on emotion--it doesn't matter if what I'm telling them is about being right or wrong or they should or shouldn't do it--the only thing that I can control is my actions. In business, I have become better at adapting the same message in different contexts to eliminate the emotional response and ensure the work gets done.
Sean Collins, CEO, Costa Vida
As a father you have to be a role model, an example, a good listener, a visionary, one who can encourage, one who creates accountability, and one who problem solves. I've learned that all the attributes necessary to be a successful father are equally important to being a successful business leader. A father must keep working on his relationship with his children through actions that are genuine and sincere. This is the same as being a business leader.
Jerry Hancock, CEO and Founder, Sub Zero Ice Cream
My kids have become part of the success of our business and I love how it creates a common goal in our family. When my oldest son was five, he gathered milk crates and stood on them to do dishes in our shop. That was one of my proudest days, seeing his desire as a kid to help out. Being a CEO and having my kids help with the business has contributed to our success and kept our family's relationship strong.
Yaron Ben-Shaul, Founder, Hometalk
Fatherhood has helped me become a more compassionate leader. Before becoming a father, I was adamantly focused on numbers and bottom line performance when measuring the success of a project or an employee. I was in tune with of the personal side of the business, but I wasn't as inherently compelled by it. After I became a dad, I gained a level of sensitivity, which hadn't been as familiar to me before. It opened up an entirely new way of relating to my employees, my customers, and the entire ecosystem of the business. And as a leader, the compassion I've learned through fatherhood doesn't only shape my approach, it drives the attitude of the entire organization towards a more invested, caring and impassioned work ethic that I believe is very important to the long-term success of Hometalk.
Jim Scott, Founder & Managing Partner, mono
My three boys are guiding my work at mono in a sense. From watching their countless baseball games, soccer matches and wrestling tournaments, I've learned that you have to leave mistakes on the field and approach the next challenge with a fresh set of expectations. We've found success working with some of the most coveted brands in the world, but when we don't prevail, I tell them what I tell my kids: learn from your mistakes and move on. Don't give up. Stay in the game and give yourself another chance to succeed.
Sam Ballas, CEO, East Coast Wings
Being a father of four has been a roller-coaster ride--but I would never change anything I have experienced. No question, parenting has helped sharpen my people management skills and better enabled me to lead my franchisees and corporate staff, who I sincerely view as part of my family. Parenting has taught me the importance of managing 'selective hearing' or the ability to sort through the noise to find a suitable path for clarity, transparency that is in line with meeting our goals. Managing selective hearing is in my top five of attributes which have crossed over from parenting into my business leadership best practices.
Scott Woolard, Jr., CEO and Founder, Sea Thru Construction
With all of its surprises and detours parenting has prepped me to be at the helm of my own business. Being a dad taught me how to plan ahead for unexpected, always willing to regroup and compromise when circumstances demand it. It was being a parent that first taught me ultimate commitment and flexibility. As a business owner --and as a father -- you learn to never give in or up and to always be prepared to shift your strategy when life (or business) throws you a curve ball.
Take these positive and uplifting insights with you throughout the day, and make sure to give thanks to all the fathers that have impacted your life!