The Brand Wisdom of Men

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This past Father’s Day as I thought about all the most important men in my life, I couldn’t help but feel blessed. I have had the great fortune to know, love and be loved by some pretty incredible fathers. The lessons I have learned from these guys have been profound and I try to incorporate them into my personal brand and life on a regular basis.

Here is some of the wisdom I’ve gleaned from my male heroes:

1. We all need a little Peter Pan. My husband’s 95 year old grandfather is one of the youngest people I know. He has a childlike quality that has never faded. From flirting with the staff at his assisted living facility to writing hand written letters on paper air planes, Pop-Pop continues to find fun and joy in even the most simplest experiences. We should all be so childlike.

2. You gotta grab life by the horns. One of my dad’s favorite expressions is “When I die, look for me upstream.” He grew up on a poor farm in a tiny, rural community. There were no family models of a richer, more prosperous life. Somehow my dad knew if he was going to have a different existence, he was going to have to make it happen on his own. With nothing but sheer determination, my dad went from skipping trains during the depression to putting himself through veterinary school and going on to build a thriving practice. We should all be so determined.

3. You don’t have to be a jerk. My father-in-law is successful by almost any standard. He built and sold several successful companies and has held board positions at some of the biggest corporations in the country. Yet everywhere I go people say “Your father-in-law is one of the nicest people I’ve ever met.” What’s remarkable is these people range from leaders in industry, arts and politics to waiters and receptionists. It would be easy for someone in his position to come across as elitist or dismissive, but he goes out of his way to treat everyone with kindness and respect. We should all be so magnanimous.

4. A life of service is a life of value. My step-dad is one of the most giving people I’ve ever known. He helped raise me and my siblings from the time I was 3 years old and supported our family with great sacrifice to his own financial potential. He served in WWII at major battles including the “Crossing of the Rhine.” He taught Sunday school, served in the food pantry, cared for the elderly and even volunteered to read stories to school children after he retired.  My step-dad never accumulated great wealth, but the value of what he has given is immeasurable. We should all be so giving.

5. Intuition isn’t everything. As women we often feel we have the corner on the market because we are so highly tuned into our feminine intuition. And while I highly value my intuition, I am reminded on a regular basis by my beautiful, brainy husband that an analytic mind is priceless. My math-wizard has the uncanny ability to concentrate intensely for hours on one thing. He surgically dissects highly complex problems one layer at a time until he arrives at the answer. I marvel at his ability to stay present and persistent in the face of uncertainty. We should all be so focused.

Ladies, the next time you are frustrated your man doesn’t pick up his clothes, put the toilet seat down or even bring you flowers, just remember, not all beautiful gifts come wrapped in pretty packages. Let’s show the men a little love and a lot of gratitude. Thanks Dads!

I love to hear your voice! 

What are some great lessons you’ve learned from the men in your life?

Post your answers below in the comments or find me on Facebook.

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Heather Poduska is a Reach certified personal brand strategist, image consultant and business coach who helps women entrepreneurs create client attractive brands, polished brand images and brand communication strategies to increase their visibility and impact in the marketplace and grow their businesses.