I was raised by a man that was a “do-er.” My father, arguably the single most successful person in our small farming community, lives and breathes hard work almost like his model was Pa in Little House on the Prairie. He is tireless, daily exercising the tools he was given: authority, decision-making, and years of experience. His slowly graying hair speaks to the difficulty of his regular task–the fate of a man’s life, for instance. He is The Honorable Judge, so his constant companion of a pen and legal pad is very apropos. He once told the story of a Judge colleague falling asleep on the bench and I have come to believe his pen and legal pad were in direct offensive against that sleepy threat.
Pro bono, he would volunteer his time to people in the community that needed help preparing for job interviews. People of all ages, races, genders, experience levels would arrive at our home, and I would overhear them in our living room: “Look them directly in the eye, research in advance and go prepared with good questions for the interviewer, practice practice practice”, I would hear him say.
He would do plenty hiring and firing in his own life, as is nearly always the case with any position of authority. Yet his reputation in our town was one of fairness, understanding, and of course hard work.
My manager and the founder of Affinity, Chad Pankake, once told me that I likely gleaned more about this business from my father than I might realize. Chad and I both agree that we are who we are because of the line of people who have poured into us, sharing their wisdom and values with us.
Each morning at Affinity, we start with strong, hot coffee, often a high five and a pep talk, and we get. to. work. We are driven to make companies great by finding excellent people–not only because of the work, but to make our mentors and our families proud. It’s not just the thrill of filling the role that makes us get up in the morning, but the knowledge that we are working for those who believe in us. We want to make them proud. We want to make you proud.
What gives you drive? We would love to hear from you in the comments below.