My father was a stern man as he was a drill sergeant in the army before I was born. My father raised us with strong work ethic and he demonstrated courage all through his life. However, at times, because of his outer strengths and personality, he was difficult to stand up to.
Let me say, I was not combative as a child, not that I am I saying we need to be. But my father’s presence and demeanor showed him through life how to get his way, attain his goals, and succeed in what he was doing.
What I am expressing is that as I aged into a teenager and early adulthood it was important that I grow as a young man and to develop into a man who would also set goals and succeed. Those goals were goals of business and goals of leadership.
So there I was allowing myself to always being intimidated by my father. People, who intimidate, whether intentional or unintentional, sense and learn that their intimidation is a method to achieve their way. Intimidation brings success to them. Intimidation becomes so natural they may not even realize it.
My mother, the best leadership trainer I have ever known, who chose to be a housewife, knew when I had to develop more. Great leaders know this in those they are leading. My mother knew when I was maturing not only physically, but mentally.
My mother knew the right situation and the right time to take a moment and teach me one of the most important lessons in life and in business. She saw a situation where she knew that it would add value to me to learn that to be heard, to be respected, and to be appreciated I had to learn this life’s lesson in her mental motherhood leadership book.
My mother said, “Marcos Antonio”, she spoke my first and middle name in Spanish when I was in trouble or when she really wanted to get my attention. My mother continued, “The moment you allow yourself to walk on eggshells you will find that there are eggs at every turn.”
It sounded confusing. But it wasn’t. Her lesson was if I allowed myself to walk on eggshells and continue to allow myself to walk on eggshells it would not get better, but worse. Eggshells would be all around me and I would have to watch where I walk. Her intention was to push me to be a man, as my father would have labelled it. Her intent was for me to develop as a man, and as a leader.
So I confronted my father on the situation that was pressing before us. He tried to intimidate, but I stood my ground and voiced my opinion. I showed and demonstrated my courage. My father paused, listened, and hugged me. He said, “This is the moment I had been waiting for.”
Our relationship was never the same. It was better. I earned his respect and he gave me his trust. Life is only a lesson for business. Remember, the moment you allow yourself to walk on eggshells you will find that there are eggs at every turn.