How My Dad Leads With Hospitality

Later this year, I’ll turn forty years old.  It doesn’t seem possible. 

Recently I had another interesting thought. When my dad was forty years old, I was at the pivotal yet impressionable age of sixteen.  I looked up to my dad then, and I continue to look up to my dad now; literally and figuratively.  Dad goes about 6’3”, and I sadly stopped growing at 6’1”. 

It’s symbolic because not only have I never reached my dad’s height, I still strive to catch up to his character, work ethic, and ability accept, encourage, and advocate for people. 

My entire life, I’ve watched, listened, and observed my dad as he wakes up, goes to work, and pours his heart and soul out for people – his clients, his team, and most of all, our family.  Growing up, the more I watched and listened, the more I learned about people.  The more I learned about people, the more I wanted to become a leader myself.  In recent years, I’ve realized a big reason for my passion for people and leadership is simply because of all the years I’ve watched my dad.

Accepting People

Since leaving home to pursue college and a career in business, I’m always taken aback when leaders and “bosses” refuse to accept people for who they are.  So many people, whether it’s because of their own insecurities, their egos, or both, simply refuse to accept the uniqueness of other people.  For years I’ve watched my dad simply accept everyone.  He teaches us to find out how you can help them, what you can learn from them, and maybe even what makes them fun.  Dad never discriminated, still doesn’t discriminate, and he continues to inspire so many of us to follow suit. 

  • We will learn more, enjoy more, and get more meaning out of life when we accept people, regardless of differences in opinion, ethnicity, social status, or any other status, for that matter.

Encouraging People

When I was a child, going anywhere with my dad – sporting events, church, out to dinner, and even while driving us to school – I always noticed how encouraging he was to others.  Of course, he encouraged us in basketball and Little League, but he also encouraged people at every opportunity.  My dad is an attorney, and people often call him, stop him on the street, or nowadays send text messages or emails.  Often, they’re going through trying times, and I’ve watched my dad for over thirty years (that I can remember, although he’s been practicing law for over forty years) literally stop what he is doing at a given moment, only to intentionally encourage someone who needs it.

  • One thing is for certain, everyone needs encouragement at one time or another.  Sometimes it’s us and sometimes it’s them, but few things in life will give us a sense of joy and happiness quite like lifting up someone else who may need some encouragement.

Advocating for People

One of my dad’s most admirable qualities is the passion with which he advocates for people.  Given his profession, he’s great at presenting his case, but passion like this comes from the heart.  Dad has always had a heart for helping other people, whether it be financially, with advice and counsel, or simply advocating on their behalf.  I’ve seen and felt the impact Dad makes on others, when they know he has advocated, championed, and given of himself to help their own cause or situation. 

  • When leaders have an attitude of an advocate, with a heart for championing other people, their teams feel significant.  You and I are no different.  Once we feel significant, we lean into our natural strengths and abilities and begin delivering significant contributions. This is why it behooves any leader to champion and advocate for those on their teams at every opportunity.

I do love hotels, resorts, and the hospitality industry.  Sure, I’m proud of my business education in the field of hospitality.  However, the reason I’m so passionate about writing, speaking, and leading with hospitality is simply because my dad leads with hospitality. I learned from the best.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.  I love you.

On behalf of everyone who knows you, thanks for leading with hospitality. 

You make us feel welcome, comfortable, and important.

Have a great day.


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