June 19, 2016 - Written by:

8 Things My Dad Taught Me About Leadership (and Life)

Daddy Vigus is vastly known on this blog for his ambling bear-like fridge foraging, but those who know the man know he’s so SO much more. 

My dad is the kind of father who fills you with reassurance when you tell him you’re concerned you might have contracted ebola on holiday. 

The kind of dad who guarantees that if I get abducted by sex traffickers, no matter where I am in the world, he’ll come and find me in approx 48 hours – yes, like Liam Neeson.

The kind of dad who tells me I can do anything I put my mind to.

The kind of dad who lets me play Destiny’s Child in the car on long road trips even though I’m pretty sure he wants to cut his own ears off. 

Dad in the car
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Since it’s Father’s Day I wanted to honour him with his greatest legacy – his wisdom nuggets. 

8 things my dad taught me about leadership and life:

1) ’Don’t ask anyone to do anything you wouldn’t be willing to do yourself’.

Once, when I was working for my dad when I was a teenager I saw him collecting garbage after an event. At the time he was running a successful company with hundreds of employees. When I asked him why he didn’t leave the job to someone else, he told me that he would never ask anyone to do anything he wasn’t willing to do himself.

My dad has always led from the front lines. eddard-stark

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2) ‘People work for money or they work for people’.

Or they work for candy. Okay, maybe not candy. But my dad has always made a point of looking after the people working for him and that almost always includes an emergency chocolate supply. 

My dad has always asserted that money doesn’t motivate people much beyond what’s required. Which is why he has always taught me about the value of building genuine relationships with people, creating a space they can grow and have a laugh – and then work their butts off towards a united goal, not because they are just getting paid but because they want to.

These people have stood by my dad through difficult times in return and we are so thankful for their loyalty over the years. 

3) ‘Hope for the best, prepare for the worst’ or ‘Don’t bring a pea shooter to a gun fight’.

What can I say, the man likes to keep it real.

When you are going to war cover your back. Because in the words of Vigus senior: ‘You never know when shit is going to hit the fan’. The forecast might be sunny, but prepare for storms. Have a b-plan in place. 


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4) Attention to detail.

Serving a cold drink in a cool glass, offering ice and lemon with a mixer, handing a bottle of beer over the counter with the label facing towards the customer, fine tuning the music levels and lager temperature. My dad has always taught me how it’s the little things which make something good – exceptional in business.

5) ‘If you’re a window washer, make sure you’re the best window washer in town’.

I think what Vigus is saying here is have dignity in whatever you do – and do it well. This isn’t just about cultivating success – it’s about generating self-worth.

All through my journey of working crappy city jobs while on the pursuit of being a writer I’ve carried this advice with me and it’s only ever led to promotion.

6) ‘When things are going utterly, UTTERLY shit, sleep on it.’

When you have done all you can do and it’s still blowing a hooley outside – rest. Sleep on it. Give it over to God and deal with it in the morning.

Cool Dad

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7) ‘Clean up your side of the street.’

The reality is, people aren’t always going to like you and you know what? That’s okay! Not everyone has to like you. This does NOT mean you have to kiss ass – but it does mean you stay professional, do the right thing, be yourself and don’t loose your cool. Unless of course someone well and truly pushes you over the edge…

8) ‘But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to take any excess shit.’

When I was in 6th Form – someone kept stealing my mug from the communal kitchen area and leaving it crusty and discarded by the sink. One day, enough was enough! After confiding in my father after school he calmly advised that I write on my mug *something very rude & marginally aggressive* I’ll leave it to your imagination.

But you know what? No-one stole that mug ever again.

Don't touch my shit

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So there you go. Unorthodox, maybe. But what a guy! Love you pard.

Happy Father’s Day peeps.

If you enjoyed this post, why not check out: ‘Chris Hemsworth and ‘Women’s Work”?




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