I lost my dad unexpectedly in June 2023. He was an amazing dad, grandfather, friend, mentor, coach and much more. He left a lasting impact on everyone he encountered. He was also my editor and so if there is a comma out of place or a poorly constructed sentence, you now have insight into my going off the rails a bit. As a bonus, he would pass along overall encouragement, constructive feedback, and his least favorite topics would be tools and technical which I would respond, “Dad, restorers like it.”
I could write a book to memorialize the lessons and wisdom that he passed along to me, my family, and anyone who was simply willing to listen and learn. I knew he contributed to the business. As I reflect, my father shaped me as a human being but also in business, and I realize more now that it is completely intertwined.
Since retiring as an executive from Prudential Insurance in 2004, he joined the team, giving himself the title of Consultant and then promoting himself to Sr. Consultant. He worked for snacks and an occasional thank you sandwich. He could do anything, but he chooses to work, mentor, coach, and follow his professional passions of insurance, developing others, company culture, and operations. He developed and executed courses, human resources, coaching, articles, research, and even would help prep meals for class, anything to help. And to quote my sister, on a note that he had saved and cherished, “We could not have done it with out you!” (the building of the business)
I take the opportunity to share some of the wisdom that he has passed along that has helped me and others find joy and success.
- Be responsible and take care of your things: When I was 5, he had bought me new sneakers. I had left them outside. He hid them and addressed the “situation” to make sure that I learned and understood the value of the sneakers, the importance of respecting the value, and taking care of my things. He was fun-loving, not too strict; this story was an on-going joke our entire life as I would often dramatically recount the story and tell him that it traumatized me. Which leads to…
- Laugh every day: We joked and laughed every day, like the day I accused him of taking the Ding Dongs. Inspiring the value of laughter and happiness. At the Restoration Technical Institute our purpose is found in Inspiring Happiness, Pride, and Innovation in others. The value of laughter and happiness in our operations is shared in: Is Your Organization HAPPY? Which leads to…
- Shared values: It was over 20 years ago that he said, “Lisa, it is time to document the company values,” which inspired my first Restoring Success article, Core and Shared Values. Which leads to…
- Focus on what is important and maintain perspective: He taught us to calibrate our perspective meter and focus on things that matter in the business. In a management meeting, he wrote on the board a “Give a SH!# Meter” that I adapted to be more “professional” and wrote about in, It’s All About Perspective. Which leads to…
- Tacit approval: He educated me and brought focus to the concept of tacit approval by walking into my office and garnishing my attention to the matter by holding up a piece paper with the words, TACIT APPROVAL, which inspired a New Years Resolution and my article, No More Tacit Approval. And then there is…
- Understanding insurance: He coined the phrase when teaching restorers about insurance, explaining how important we are in the system, that we are “delivering on the promises in the policy.” The story of Dad teaching me about insurance and the value as a restorer is found in, Understanding the Insurance Industry. Which leads me to add…
- Lead by example and embrace change: He led by example which garnished unwavering respect from others. When he fought eLearning, Zoom, and any related technology implementation, he self-assessed, came in and said, “I need to be open- minded and embrace change.” He was 72. And so, we began creating his Insurance for the Restoration Professional materials, eLearning. Which led to….
- Drive safely: Another story for another time, but he was extremely passionate about safe driving, the dangers, the distractions, and was in constant motion on how he could make a positive impact in this area. He created this course, offered for free: Driving: What you need to know! By Paul Pinchak. He would always be notified when someone “bought” his free course. This made him feel fulfilled.
- Be clear and concise: Let’s just say that I am a work in progress on the concise part. He would look at me and others and move his finger and say, “get to the bottom line”.
I believe he began to document a list for others to reflect and consider to help them find joy, work ethic, and fulfillment.
On his desk, was a yellow legal pad with the notes below sketched out. I know he intended to finalize, show me, and share it with others:
- Be Selfless – “concerned more with the needs and wishes of others than with one’s own”
- Be Curious – “an eager desire to learn and, at times, to learn what may not concern you in the moment”
- Be Influenced – “by the right people…we decide who we affect and who we allow to affect us”
- Care – “about what you are doing…believing and committing makes a meaningful difference in one’s well being”
- Be in the Right Culture – “more important than strategy…work in a culture where the values align closely with yours”
May some of dad’s wisdom that has helped me, and others, also bring you much Restoring Success.