President’s Message – May 9th

“If I were giving a young man advice as to how he might succeed in life, I would say to him, pick out a good father and mother…”  WILBUR WRIGHT

I know it’s baseball season and the Cubs are in first place, but I thought I’d change it up this month. A few weeks ago, I read David McCullough’s book, The Wright Brothers, and I came across Wilbur’s advice for success. When I read it the first time, I thought, “well, that’s obvious”. AND it’s a total cop out to a sincere question.

I kept coming back to this quote and kept thinking about it. I realized that beyond the obvious, there is a simple and instructive brilliance to Wilbur’s thought. Being a father of three awesome grown children, I believe we must have done something right. That said, I can’t help but ask myself:

  • Have I been a good father? Am I still being a good father?
  • Have my actions helped to make my wife of 30 years a better or worse mother?
  • Have my actions helped my kids be more successful in life? Is that still my responsibility?
  • Is the way I measure success the same way my kids measure it? Should it be?
  • Are my actions building my kid’s self-confidence? Or tearing it down?
  • Is there anything my kids should be doing to help make me a better father?

I’ve been in CFBC for eight years and I was in Vistage for four years before that. In addition, all my customers are independently-owned entrepreneurs, mostly family businesses. So, I’ve seen a lot of family successes, but a lot of failures too. Many very painful failures that have not only ruined the business, but also split the family. Through all this I have gleaned no secrets to successful parenting, except one.

The parents and children that I’ve seen reflect on and openly discuss these kinds of questions always improve their situation, 100% of the time. They may not get it all the way right, but they always grow. This is what Forum does and it’s why it has become such an important part of my life. In fact, I tell every business owner I come across that they owe it to themselves to explore CFBC. If you are not in a Forum, I encourage you and your key family business members to join one. You will not regret it.

Jeff Conner
Liners Direct
CFBC President 2016-2017

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