People Skills

Grandpaw and Archer

(My dad with Great-Grandchild #9, Archer Wiley)


I’ve been simmering on this for a while, and I figured since I’m away from home this Father’s Day, this would be a good day and a good way to honor my dad.  My daughter Carrie did this for me last year and reposted it again here.   I also wrote this about what I learned from my Mama last year.

Regardless of the many influences and teachers I’ve been blessed by over the years, none of them has taught or influenced me more than my dad. I have mentioned often that I was blessed to have a father who actually wanted to be a dad and influenced me to want to be one.  With 8 grandkids of my own now, I would say that desire has definitely passed through to another generation.

There are many practical things my dad taught me over the years, including how to drive a nail, play dominos, put on a jacket without bunching up your sleeve, ride a bicycle, and bathe the 36 different body parts that need cleaning up every day.

But what interests me most are the ideas that still speak to me today as principles.  These are transferrable to almost any endeavor. I could just as well title this, “Ten Things My Dad Would Teach to Pastors,” or “Ten Things My Dad Could Teach to School Teachers.”

So here, in no certain order, are ten lessons that still speak to me most every day.  I’m sure there are many more than this, but these are for starters.  See if they don’t speak to you on some level, while my daddy says, “Your welcome!” [click to continue…]

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munutoliAwards season is in full swing.  The Golden Globes, Grammys, and Emmys are history.  The Oscars are approaching.  That can only mean one thing:

Michael Minutoli is probably close by.

Michael Minutoli is a party crasher, and without a doubt one of the best.  For more than 15 years, this man has boldly gone where few of us would dare, and he never had a ticket.  You could find him at movie premiers, awards programs, concerts, and backstage parties.  Have tux, will travel.

He moves with such congruence, he blends right in.  And he has the pictures to prove it – more than a thousand of them.  You can find disposable camera prints of Michael with his arm around the likes of Harrison Ford, Katie Couric, Britney Spears, Paul McCartney, Dustin Hoffman, Tom Hanks, President Bill Clinton, Jack Nicholson, Sean Connery, Madonna, and Bruce Willis.  Just to name a few.

And boy, does he have stories to tell. [click to continue…]

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AngryBret* was a Sherman tank.  Didn’t drive one; he was one.  He was ticked off – at me!  And he wasn’t in a mood to pout or negotiate.  He came with a verbal Uzi, convinced I had done him wrong, and he was going to let me know about it.  (For the record, he was wrong about me doing him wrong, but he was in no mood to hear it.  Or hear anything, for that matter.)

Right in the middle of the tirade, as this hulk of a man was blowing me away, I had this surreal experience.  It was the Lord, I believe, speaking to me.  “Just let him finish.  With everything he has to say.”  So I did.  I just sat there and took it.  I didn’t like it.  I didn’t like his attitude.  I didn’t like his complete blindness to the facts.  But I took it.

“Is there anything else?”

“No, that’s about it,” he said very gruffly.

“Okay, well I’m very sorry you feel that way.  I’ll see to it that you never feel that way because of me again.”

That was 11:00 a.m.  At 2:00 p.m., the phone rang; it was Bret again.  Totally different story.

“Man, I just want you to know, I’m on your team.  I so appreciate you.”

I quickly ruled out the possibility of demon possession, mental illness (that one took a bit longer), or bribe money.  No, Bret had just emptied himself of his poison.  And he meant it.  He was on my team.

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