“My father didn’t tell me how to live. He lived and let me watch him do it.”
―Clarence Budington Kelland

“The older I get, the smarter my father seems to get.”
Tim Russert

Happy Father’s Day, dads!  Whether you receive ties, BBQ utensils, power tools, or hand-crafted cards, I hope you get to connect today with those who call you “Dad.”

Newsweek magazine once ran a cover story on former General Electric CEO Jack Welch and his book, Winning. Lionized for helping GE grow over a hundred-fold during his twenty-year tenure, Welch wrote his book to describe his eight “rules” for running a successful business. While Welch obviously knew how to run a large company, I was stunned by one of his comments on work and family: “Your boss’s top priority is competitiveness. Of course he wants you to be happy, but only inasmuch as it helps the company win. In fact, if he is doing his job right, he is making your job so exciting that your personal life becomes a less compelling draw.”

Welch’s phrase that stuck in my mind is “that your personal life becomes a less compelling draw.” What did he mean? I wanted to ask, “You mean things like marriage, kids, service to others, or health?” Two weeks after the cover story, in a letter to the Newsweek editor, a reader reacted to that statement: “Jack Welch’s views on “winning” epitomize the pathology of American culture: addiction to power, status and money at the expense of family.”

Jack Welch was much admired by many. Newsweek wouldn’t have put him on its cover if he wasn’t. But on this Father’s Day, I want to remind our dads that no one ever lies on his deathbed and wishes he had put in more hours at the office. Yes, we do have work responsibilities and we are called by God to carry them out with due diligence and excellence. However, if you don’t make time to be your kids’ dad, who will?

Here’s a final quote, both challenging yet reassuring, from J. Philip Wogaman: “On all hands we see people who need to be successful as a way of reassuring themselves that their lives matter. It is a way of saving oneself, peculiarly suited to the modern world. Christians do not need this form of reassurance, having already the deeper assurance of God’s love in Jesus Christ.”

Andy Wall
Author: Andy Wall