Lessons I’ve Learned from My Parents


Laura and I recently welcomed our first baby into the world. We are sleep-deprived but couldn’t be more excited!

Looking back on our time before our son arrived, we found no shortage of experts eager to tell us everything they thought we needed to know. Whether it was what we should name our son, if he should be on a schedule or not on a schedule, how often we should hold him, where he should sleep, whether or not to give him a pacifier, or when to start solid foods—there were so many opinions (often contradictory) from great parents whom we respect.

Some of their advice will work for us, and some of it won’t. But in the midst of the books we’re reading, blogs we’re following, apps that tell us what we should be doing at different times, and friends who give their unsolicited advice, there are a few things I know I want to do. I want to replicate some of the most simple but important lessons I learned from my parents.

Just like your parents, my parents aren’t perfect and didn’t do everything right, but here are a few things they did that shaped the way I see the world. (By the way, these are not only good ideas for parenthood, these are good ideas for life.)

Be generous.

My whole life, I’ve watched my parents model generosity. They are generous with their time, resources, and energy—even when it’s limited—to serve and love the people around them. Aside from me and my sister, at least 6 different kids (not related to us) have lived with my parents at one time or another. From kids whose parents have passed away to kids experiencing unique and challenging circumstances, my parents always opened their home to whoever needed one. I never remember my parents specifically talking to me about the concept of generosity, because they didn’t need to—I watched them model it with their lives.

Be consistent.

From taking us to church whenever the doors were open to giving us instruction that was always supported by their actions, my parents lived, led, and taught us consistency. For me, consistency is one of the most important and also one of the most daunting principles I want to impart to my kids. Will they see the character modeled in me that I want them to exhibit?


This year, I turned 34. Thirty-four is not a remarkable birthday; there’s nothing special to celebrate. But my parents got us all together anyway. They invited us, and we all piled into my sister and her family’s home where they showered me with gifts and cake. My parents are excellent at finding reasons to celebrate and gather together.

Generosity, consistency, and celebration are three things I want to integrate into the culture of my family, but these things work in other aspects of my life. Even in my business, I want our organization to be known for its generosity, consistency, and eagerness to celebrate our clients and team members. In our small group at church, I want us to be generous to the members of our group that have a need, to be consistent in our attendance, diligence, and involvement, and to celebrate others when they experience exciting milestones and their lives.

Being generous, consistent, and eager to celebrate enhances every phase and stage of your life as you grow your family, shape the culture of your company, and live life with your community of friends.

Take these lessons from my parents, and seek to live them out in your daily life.  

I have a new book out called The Lens of Leadership. It’s all about perspective because I believe the way we view things changes how we do things. 

CLICK TO ORDER The Lens of Leadership

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Today, business means more than just mere products and services. Your organization needs to stand for something. Branding is what you tell the world; leadership is how you make it come true.

No one knows this dynamic better than Kevin Paul Scott.

Companies turn to Kevin for advice on how to up the meaning-quotient in their businesses, so that employees and customers alike champion the business as if it were their own.

Let Kevin come and teach your group about how to build a business and communicate corporate values in a way that resonates with consumers.

His speeches include:
• Building a Business with Meaning
• Leading When the Majority is Wrong
• In Changing Times, Hold to Unchanging Principles
• The War for Talent: Recruiting and Retaining Top Tier Talent
• Essential Exchanges: What You Have to Give Up to Go Up