In 1914, President Woodrow Wilson approved a resolution that made Father’s Day a nationwide holiday. On Sunday June 16th, we will take a day to officially celebrate fathers. Special meals, cards, gifts and phone calls show thanks to our dads in a fine tradition. But, like many holidays, it’s only a marker of a sentiment we feel all year round.
Father’s Day offers the opportunity to reflect on the wonderful men in our lives. It is a day when fathers are recognized for reassuring, safeguarding, empowering, providing and protecting.
This Sunday, I will take the time to remember my father, but all the fatherly figures, stepfathers, grandfathers, uncles and even big brothers. To all the dads and men that stepped up to become dads, we are so thankful for you and all that you do. As someone who has had many jobs, being a father is by far the most gratifying. It’s a for-life post with no days off. It’s work that challenges in ways you can’t predict, and rewards with feelings of indescribable joy. I am the father of two children, a girl and a boy, now a woman and a man. Helping them grow into kind, self-sufficient young adults has been the most fulfilling journey of my life.
I’m also an unofficial father to hundreds of employees for whom I feel a paternal affection. Their struggles at work and at home are always on my mind. In fact, I remind my daughter Shannon who helps me manage my business, that when we hire an individual, we’re connecting with a family. We must always keep in mind that our team is working for their own team of partners and children and extended relatives. Their satisfaction at work carries into their home lives; about that, there is no doubt.
Because of that family mindfulness, at my company, as seen in this video, I instituted policies that encourage every employee to focus on their holistic health. We provide gym memberships and time off to use them, so there’s no excuse not to get fit. We also offer nutrition counseling, yoga and meditation classes, and healthy food options in our kitchens. Our leadership team promotes flexible work schedules so that employees can maintain a happy family-work balance. As the boss, I’m looking out for the team and want them to know that I understand the struggles of daily life. I, too, focus on keeping a healthy balance and try to set a good example.
Role modeling is important. We all know the traditional notion of a father is someone who is strong, and demonstrates to his family that he is solid, and always present and there to support. I try to do that with my family and with my workforce. Maybe I flatter myself by assuming a paternalistic role with my employees, but I can’t help it. The image of a strong father suits me and helps me realize goals with them and for them.