Recognizing the Gift of Leadership

As mentioned in an earlier post, I’m enrolled in a leadership training and mentorship program. Recently I learned that my father has cancer. While I remain very positive, and hopeful for his recovery, it’s natural to think about his life and his many accomplishments in the context of a very full life lived.

Douglas Dillon is a great leader and businessman. He took the reins of the family wholesale floral business at a young age when his father passed. Facing many challenges along the way, he grew the business into one of the most successful rose growing operations in the eastern United States. In his maturity as a leader he chose to give back to his industry and community by serving as president of two national trade associations. He also served on and rose to the position of chairman of the boards of the local bank and a national florists insurance company. Now he faces a new challenge with the grace and dignity of a true leader.

I woke up the other day with a deeply felt insight into my own leadership ability in the context of my relationship with my father. Having worked for him in the family business for 15 years in a couple of stretches, our relationship has had ups and downs. Communication has been difficult at times. The relationship has indeed improved over the last decade, and as I reconcile with him through prayer and forgiveness (forgiving myself for my part in the relationship), I find that I am awakening his best qualities in me. Not so much that I have “learned” those qualities from him, but that they are already lying dormant in me ready to awaken. The cool thing is that I recognize that I have everything I need within me… all I need to do is access it. I’m now beginning to feel my father’s strength rising within me as I step into a more powerful leadership role in my own life. I’m blessed with a new sense of gratitude and appreciation for my father and all his accomplishments.

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~ by John Dillon on April 13, 2009.

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