I have spent more concentrated time with my father in the last two months than in the previous several years combined. My father is a great man. I have always known this. But what I didn’t realize… until these recent visits… is how much other people know it, too.

Walking alongside my father as we toured the town and visited with friends, stepping into stores and restaurants… I came to the conclusion that my father is a rock star! Everywhere we went, people knew him. They would light up when they saw my father enter their space; they would shout out to him and extend hands and hugs. And nearly every one of them felt compelled to tell me how good my dad is… as if I didn’t know. And the truth is, maybe I didn’t fully know. To me, he has always been my dad. I have only truly known him from that perspective. We have had ups and downs, but he has always been bigger than life. As I have grown from a young boy to a young man to a grown man, my respect for my father has deepened, informed by my own life experience. But until these recent trips, I had not fully considered my father as a man completely apart from my own existence.

This new paradigm prompted me to step back and look objectively at this man I have known intimately my entire life. I took in the stories people shared about his generous spirit and his kindness, his courage and his wisdom. When I considered the qualities and the phrases that were used repeatedly to describe this great man, the source and nature of my own personal goals became very clear to me. My father has created a layered legacy… He has a history with these individuals that will live on long after he has left to meet his Maker. He has memories of his own that have been passed on through stories told to his children and grandchildren. And, perhaps the legacy that he is most proud of, is the fact that his three sons aim to live the kind of life he has lived… to one day be known for living a life marked by generosity, kindness, wisdom and courage.

Thanks, Dad.

Clifford A. Bailey
son, father, CEO, speaker

This entry was posted on Monday, August 1st, 2011 at 5:16 pm and is filed under Leadership, Musings. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.