Five Lessons from Mr. Keeney on Father’s Day

FIve Lessons on Father's Day

I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to share with all of my readers five key lessons my Dad taught me, especially on Father’s Day.  The list below contains life lessons and I’ll never forget them as long as I live.

Furthermore, now that I’m an expecting father of another Keeney boy, I hope to pass them on with the dignity knowing they came from my Dad.

For those of you who don’t know or haven’t met my Dad, here is a picture of the two of us goofing off nearly five years ago on Beth and I’s wedding day.

Beth and Zac's Wedding Day

Bernie Keeney & Zac Keeney 2009

As promised here is the list.

Five Valuable Lessons from Bernie Keeney:

  1. Hard Work –  I must start with this quote from Thomas Edison, “Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work.”  My Dad’s life is a living example of hard work.  Obviously I wasn’t around, but I know he didn’t grow up anywhere near the standard of living he provided to my sister and I.  He got where he did because of a tremendous amount of hard work and discipline.  Nothing was handed to him, and I’ll tell you he wouldn’t want it if you did.  Today, many look for the easy way out.  My Dad will tell you there is no such thing and to stop complaining.  The same effort refocused would yield the results. 
  2. CoachableMy Dad taught me at a young age the need to be coachable.  He continued to remind me of this through my adolescent years and hundreds of athletic events.  I think it’s a great lesson, especially for younger leaders as there is so much to learn from so many.  You have to be willing to listen, especially when the feedback is something you don’t want to hear. 
  3. Lifelong Learner If you’ve ever heard me talk about my Dad, I’ll say he’s a better version of Bob Villa, a true Mr. Fix It.  The only way you get to be this skilled at so many crafts is to have an appetite for learning.  He continues to learn even more now in his retirement.  Every day is a new adventure, a new story to be told, or new challenge.  He’s never backed down from a challenge and is one of the smartest guys I know.  
  4. Tough & Fair My Dad spent his career (30+ years) as an educator.  He had thousands of students, but there were two he looked after more than most, my sister and I.  With each of us he was equally tough and fair.  If we screwed up or were out of line, he was always fair with our punishment.  We always knew where we stood with our Dad and I can only hope to be the same with my son.
  5. SupportiveNo matter the need, Dad has always been there to support.  If I need advice, help on a construction project, a trailer to haul something for a move, or any tool known to man, Dad will be there.  Most of the time it probably didn’t fit in his schedule, but that really didn’t come into his head.  He continues to be there for our growing family and I can’t wait to see what he’ll pass along to his grandson.

I’ll leave you with this.  I believe one of the primary jobs we have as Dads is to provide our kids with a better life than we had.  If I were the teacher and handing out a grade to my Dad, it would be an A+.

ACTION ITEM: If you haven’t already, tell your Dad “Happy Father’s Day”.  If you’re one of the many with their Dad looking down from above, do something to remember him today.