An Eternal father’s day lesson. Listening, learning, loving, longing

An Eternal father’s day lesson. Listening, learning, loving, longing

Written By Jeffrey Gitomer

KING OF SALES, The author of seventeen best-selling books including The Sales Bible, The Little Red Book of Selling, and The Little Gold Book of Yes! Attitude. His live coaching program, Sales Mastery, is available at

An eternal Father’s Day lesson. Listening, learning, loving, longing.

This past Father’s Day my kids called to wish me well. “Happy Father’s Day, Dad.” Music. Nothing better than the sounds and words of a loving call from your children. I would have given any amount of money for one more call at Father’s Day. The one I wish I could have made to my dad. He passed away four years ago. I miss him so much.

The grief of his death is over, but missing him never goes away.

I want him to see my success. “Hey Pop, look at my new book. Hey Pop, I’m giving a seminar in France in front of a thousand people. Did you read my column this week, Pop?” I always loved when he called to tell me that he saw my book in a book store. Or that he wanted to give an autographed copy to someone. Parental pride. Nothing feels better. Nothing feels better.

If you are a mom or a dad, tell your children you are proud of them. There are no words more fulfilling in the world. And every child aches for them.

If you have lost a parent, you know what “missing someone” means. The good news is that when I think of my father I smile. And when I use his lessons, or tell a story about him, I smile.

My dad’s lessons were not verbalized. This is not about “my father always said…” Rather it’s about what I observed. And about what I realized after his death that I never understood while he was alive. Almost as if his passing brought awareness. Awareness that has led to success. Business and personal.

As you read these observations, keep in mind that they are both lessons and honors. I am saying “eternal thanks” every time I use one of them. These are life and business lessons. They apply to whatever you are doing every day. And they provide a foundation upon which success can be built. Here’s an example. My dad was never late. He never said, “Son, don’t be late.” He just always showed up on time or early. Always.

BE CAREFUL: These lessons are simple at the core. But they provide the basis for actions that lead to reputation. Just like I’m saying thanks to my mom for drubbing manners into me as a youth. Every time I hold a door open for someone, I smile and think of her. People love manners. And they are noticed.

These are my father’s unspoken lessons:

  • My father was smart because he was always a student. At minimum, the crossword and a dictionary every day.
  • He shared wisdom to those who would listen (the secret is to listen with the intent to understand — too often I listened with the intent to respond — BIG DIFFERENCE.) My friend Duke once said, “you know what I hate about your old man — he’s never wrong.
  • He always did his homework. Showing up prepared to sell or serve. He was ready to win.
  • He brought people together to succeed. He was a networker back when it had no name. It was an instinct combined with the lessons he learned from his dad.
  • He had a great sense of humor at all times. He was likeable through laughter.
  • He earned respect without demanding it. His character was attractive.
  • He was generous and helped others without expectation of return. “Don’t lend money, son — give it away.” He said, “That way you are never disappointed when it’s not repaid.”
  • He welcomed problems, but I had to have my version of a solution when I presented it.
  • He was clear, concise, and to the point — in speech and in writing. No wasted words.
  • He never quit when he knew he was right. His persistence spanned years.
  • He showed me that relationships are learned at home. How we acted as a family carried into the community. And he was consistent in the manner he treated his employees and customers. Relationships and friendships were the core of our family success. Look at your dad and the relationship he has or had with your mom, your siblings, and you. Those are the characteristics you possess as you build your own family. AND those are the characteristics you possess as you get into the business world, and build customer and co-worker relationships.

    Vices? Sure. He had a bunch of them. What’s your point? Everyone has vices. Even you. Once dead, vices are buried, goodness and wisdom live on. And vices have a plus side. As a son or daughter they teach you what NOT to do, if you’re paying attention.

    Give yourself a Father’s Day gift. Write down all the good things you are learning or have learned from your dad or mom. Write down what lessons and habits you observe that you want to emulate. And the ones you will need to omit. Save them forever.

    My father, my friend, I have learned the lessons, and I am a student till the end. Happy eternal Father’s Day, Pop.

    Free GitBit…For those of you screaming MOTHER! I have great news. Five lessons I learned from my mom are on the website waiting for you. Go to – register if you’re a first time user, and enter the word MOM in the GitBit box.

    Jeffrey Gitomer, author of The Sales Bible, and Customer Satisfaction is Worthless, Customer Loyalty is Priceless. President of Charlotte-based Buy Gitomer, he gives seminars, runs annual sales meetings, and conducts internet training programs on selling and customer service. He can be reached at 704/333-1112 or e-mail to