He died when I was 19. Six years after his wife, my grandmother died.
I spent a big part of early childhood with my grandfather. He didn’t say much but he had many little “coaching conversations” when appropriate (I later realised what he was doing after he died in my late teens).
At University (almost 30 years ago now whilst doing my second degree in Accounting/Business Management ), I read a book by the author Ken Blanchard called “the one minute manager”. I realised then, that the management style my grandfather was using in relation to raising me and the family household, was the same as what the author was espousing in the book.
A Man’s Man.
The best manager I have ever worked for was the CEO/Managing Partner of a Top 20 Accounting & Business Advisory. I was there for about 3 years and was some of the BEST years working as an “employee “.
This man, was a Man’s Man … a Clint Eastwood demeanour with a Tom Hanks (heart .. when appropriate). His physical presence was intimidating. He was a former Australian ranked boxer and his reputation for results preceded him.
Everyone was scared shitless of him. They trembled in their seats when they heard him coming down the passages and everyone avoided him.
I found him fascinating and I loved him and his management style. I thought about why (after I left) and it was because he reminded me of my grandfather.
I didn’t buy into the fear and the water-cooler stories about him that became part of the Firm’s Legendary stories. So, I decided to “get to know him”.
No need for Sir, call me Bob …
As he walked by the cubicles in the morning, I would yell out – “Good morning Mr E…!” The other staff couldn’t believe it… I actually spoke out snd greeted him.
The first time … I would hear his footsteps pause and … then continue. The following morning, I did the same. He did the same.
On the third day .. he stopped and then said –
“Who is that?”
I stood up from my cubicle and replied –
“Paul ❤️alentine, sir!”
He laughed and said –
“No need for Sir, call me Bob... snd a good morning to you, too.”
From then on, each time he walked passed by Cubicle, he would call out my name and we would end up having chats. Matter of fact, he preferred me to handle many of his clients and over time, we would become very good friends.
It got to stage where, he would only allow me to interrupt him in any meeting he was in. No one else in the Firm could do that. There was a level of TRUST that he had in me that no one else got.
When he had to “Sign off” on Reports and Files … he would go through others’ files with a fine-tuned comb, asking many questions. With mine, he just wanted me to give him the “gist” or executive summary (usually one page of the Risks and my personal assessment)
He would always ask me one question –
“Are you happy with me signing Paul?”
I would say yes or no.
He would act accordingly.
The One-Minute Manager.
The “one-minute managed” approach is to be very FIRM in your values & principles snd DO NOT compromise on INTEGRITY. EVER.
This is communicated EFFECTIVELY. There is no ambiguity. … ALWAYS communicated CONSISTENTLY, CLEARLY and CONCISELY.
Integrity is what most Good Leaders have. But, RE-INFORCED integrity is what GREAT Leaders have. They NEVER sacrifice their MORALS & ETHICS in ALL that they do & say and say they do.
That is the One-Minute Manager…. On Enthusiasm Turbo-Boost. That is what the world needs right now … more GREAT LEADERS in all KEY areas of life.
“What is your message ?” I ask.
What is the message you leave to the world, when you … leave this world?
The one-minute manager approach primarily relates to the FEEDBACK being TIMELY and SPECIFIC. For example, when I fuck up with something on a client, I would hear his footsteps come towards my seat. I would feel his presence snd his hand rest on my shoulder (as I looked at my computer screen). I could sense his frustration snd he would say –
“Paul, you fucked up. Learn from it. Don’t do that again”
And then he was off. He was the first to reprimand me and “pull me in line” as soon as the incident occurred.
The reverse is also true. When I did a great job and exceeded clients expectations, I would hear those same footsteps again …
His hand on my shoulder, looking in my eyes and saying –
“Great job Paul, well done. Keep it up, son! Take the afternoon off!”
My salary increases in 6-monthly reviews were in the top and I had one of the best corner cubicles in the Firm. Many other staff were jealous but … I learned that TRUST is one of the foundation stones of any relationship.
I’ve almost always adopted this Management style in almost all my dealings with people, as an employee, managing groups/teams .. and as an Employer, managing egos.
Do you trust – YOU?
Out of interest, what are your top 3 to these :
1. What 3 words describe your Vision for your business?
2. Do you believe in YOU? 3 strengths you have as a Leader?
3. Do you TRUST “you?”
4. Do have a need to be “liked” by everyone? Do you have a need to be “agreeable “ with everyone?
What is YOUR MESSAGE?
This is one of the KEYS to almost ALL successful communication to any audience: know your message.
I remember sitting with adults when I was a kid, Listening to their stories. They would say –
“Paul, why don’t you go and play with your cousins & friends outside”
I would reply –
“No, there will be time to play with them later”
I’ve listened to hundreds of other people’s stories when I owned & managed my Family Gym for 7 years.
I love 💕 telling stories.
I believe there is power in storytelling.
It begins in the home.
It begins in the Home…. Practising the art of Storytelling, that is.
Home is where the foundation of storytelling starts. I recall listening to my dad & his close friend’s tell stories around the Kava bowl. In the home, I got a strong 💪 foundation… Of a past that lends my existence a place, a sense of belonging, a historical context.
Home is where stories get passed on for generations. I have continued with this 💝alentine tradition. My two kids can retell the stories I tell .. because they have heard them countless times. And as my daughter says –
“Dad, it keeps changing all the time”
And I say –
“Aaaahhh… yes, my dear … that is where facts and imagination fuse in the optimum place”
Home is where I was told that I am built like & physically intelligent like my grandfather, Ben Valentine. A powerful & skilful National heavyweight boxing champion, going undefeated for 3 years in his prime.
Home is where I heard stories of my quirkiness from early age & my creative & innovative nature in my early youth. I heard stories of my country of birth through the filter of my own genealogy.
Struggles, family migrations, family triumphs, as well as ancestral successes & failures were taught to me through the history of my 💝alentine Family.
In my Home now, it is a place where I build my own legacy: through my love 😍 for history & storytelling, I have shared & will share more stories I was told in my youth with my children.
Always, adding my generation’s story to this 💝alentine Novel in progress. I’ve always believed the REAL histories of families aren’t the records of births, deaths & marriages. No, to me …
… they are the stories told after dinner, while having chocolate or dessert. So full and satisfied.
For i have learned many things so far, and one important one is the importance of LEGACY.
Legacy is fueled by US… in our family. It is fueled by ME. And all this evolves from our history… our family stories passed down …
Where has time gone? Ten years went by … .like a blink of an eye. Memories… that is all we have … shared memories.
We have many.
He knows he will always have a home.
He has spent his first ten years of his life, with me, his mother and his sister. Spent it in our home .. which is HIS HOME.
I like to think that his home is a place of celebration, a continuous celebration of Life. His home is the place where he can let down his hair and just be, himself. His home is where living happens and laughter rocks the walls.
I’d like to think that his home is the place where he learns to play, to have fun, to relax, to love and … to pray. Each day in our household is a celebration. Everyday, our Family prayers allows us to reflect on our life so far … with GRATITUDE.
There is an abundance of laughter in his home. So loud that it carries all the way to the streets and neighbours.
His home is where Real Living, takes place.
He learns how to work, how to play, how to eat, how to ride in cars together, how to attend Taekwondo lessons, how to play music in bands virtually, how to watch youtubes and videos, how to host friends, how to take care of his self, how To be a better brother, how to be the loving son that he is, how to develop our own private family jokes (usually they love “roasting’ me).
In our home .. his home, we try not to take life too seriously. In our home … a home of celebration we thrive in conversation and accept that humour and laughter is essential elements to our Family cohesion.
Our home … his home … vibrates to us and to everyone around us that …
“This is what life is all about. In a nutshell, life is what happens in our home … it is where he is celebrated.”
Home is where …
My son … has his Nintendo game, his soccer and rugby balls, his books, his swords, his toy guns, his snacks.
Home is …. Being able to walk around in his undies all day … home is Eating cold watermelon and tropical pineapple together at the dinner table on a winter day. Home is where he is allowed to yell … to get angry … and it is ok. Home is where he can play wrestle games in the bedroom and backyard and come out of it … unscathed.
Home is where he gets unlimited hugs and kisses and learns about the important things in life. Home is where he learns how to agree to disagree and resolve conflicts.
Home is where he learns to be appreciated and listened to. Home is where his strong sense of self … his powerful self image … his confidence is built. Home is where he understands his responsibilities to contribute to the family to make it work … that little things, matter.
To sum up … I hope my ten year old son learns much … in our home .. his home.
One day, I hope, he would look back and realise that home is where he discovered wonder and learned to not only Dream … but …. To Dream BIG. One day, he remembers to repeat some of … OUR traditions … OUR unique family qwirks … our UNUSUAL ceremonies.
I hope that one day, my son looks back and views his time in his home .. our home as a period where he not only FOUND but …. EXPERIENCED, JOY.
With … his dad (me), his mum, Cathy, his sister, Olivia and our pet schnoodle : “Mr Fussy/Fuzzy Cuddles”.
Did you have a father that invested a great deal of time and energy in to your life? Or was he in the shadows … or almost never around.
In my 7 years of owning and managing my Family Gym, I came to really know men from all backgrounds and status in society. My gym membership was about 70% male.
Over time, I came to notice correlations and strong causation between their behaviour as grown men and their relationship with their dads in their childhood. It didn’t matter which race, culture or status, there were some strong connections.
Happy Men & Not-so-happy Men.
Do you consider yourself a “Happy Man?”
Who are the happiest Men in society? Not by any kind of horizontal segmentation but as a species – “male”.
I think there are Happy Men and the not-so-happy men in our modern-day societies.
Experience has indicated that the men who are the happiest and most content in the masculine role today are those whose fathers put in the time and effort in their upbringing. And continue to do so.
I’ll refer to them as the “Happy Dads” in society.
These Happy Dads had dads who were around to begin with. Dads that were committed to maintaining a positive, nurturing, encouraging relationship with their sons. These Fathers of Happy Dads provided that secure foundation and supported their sons in their ups and downs.
The sons (Happy Dads) had support from their Fathers with their careers and decisions they made and acknowledged their achievements.
These Happy Dads had dads that were just “there for them”. No excuses, full-stop!
RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)
That consistent loving time spent with their sons (not “quality “‘time), paid off … in time. These Father’s sons, who the the Happy Dads of today are, I believe, among the most well-adjusted and peaceful husbands and fathers in our modern-day societies.
Are they increasing? Are they easily recognised?
Does he look like you? Your friend, maybe?
I believe these well-adjusted and peaceful husbands and fathers is and has been on the decline. They could be safely said to be in the “minority “.
Normally, I would say that in a democratic society, the majority should rule. In this instance, I believe that this minority should rule … these men should be the norm and not rare and abnormal.
We need these types of men … Happy Dads … to flourish again and increase.
What do we do? How do we go about this?
I believe it is up to me, you and … all the current dads/fathers reading this and out there with young sons… to commit to these young impressionable souls.
The majority of men today are struggling to recover from relationships with fathers who failed to nurture, affirm and validate them at some level … or all levels.
These sons (who are now fathers/dads/husbands themselves), are left with a legacy of pain, confusion, frustration, anxiety, bitterness, fear & anger. A lot of these men never had a choice in having their father in their lives as the mothers decided to bring them up as single parent.
I believe a big percentage of These adult sons are the angry men of our societies.
We need to stop rearing angry men.
If you’re part of the minority that is, the Happy Men, congratulations 🎉! Go and give your old man a hug and tell him you love him…. and just give him thanks for being there for you through your tumultuous years of youth.
How to eat an elephant, yep, That was something my most valued business/life mentor taught me when I first met him.
He asked me one day, he said –
“Paul, young man, how do you eat an elephant?”
Now, that was a question i just couldn’t answer at that time. I said what any 30+ year old would say –
“Fuck if I knew!”
Then, he said something that I always recall when I take on a big project – patience.
“One mouthful at a time, young man … one mouthful at a time, until you’ve eaten that whole elephant.”
There are many elephants in our lives – ourselves, our children, our careers and so forth. One such elephant for me is my son, Zachary. A vibrant, energetic & curious young boy, evolving at a very fast rate. One of my tasks as his dad is to love him, unconditionally. No matter what, always being the wind beneath his wings when he decides to fly.
To keep fueling his curiosity and provide relevant boundaries that allow him to grow and stretch and possibly shift.
It’s New Year’s Eve and I sit and reflect on many moments in my life so far. Christmas came and went and for my family, prayer snd devotion is always a constant reminder to give gratitude through grace, even in times of heightened joy & excitement.
A few months old … in our Family gym I owned & managed for about 7 years. He has no recollection of this period of our lives.
The Basics of almost every field are a vital foundation of Mastery of that field. For example, in physique artistry, it is the basic lifts of – squats, deadlifts and bench presses. In football, it’s being able to catch and pass an oval ball with speed and accuracy in almost any conditions.
In our roles as fathers & dads, teaching our sons to take responsibility early in life will prepare them well for the workplace in the future. I believe two kinds of responsibility should be emphasised:
Zachary has always had a soft spot for knives & swords since he was a baby. I thought 💭 id introduce him to wood carving and help transmute that endless energy & enthusiasm for it into something creative: WOOD CARVING.
I did a bit of this in my childhood with my good mate kindie friend, Dr Manoa during weekend sleepovers at his parents place. We used to carve out creations from discarded pieces of wood.
Dr Manoa and I today. Friendship that’s been strong since kindergarten. Now, a Top Legal advisor to Governments, worldwide.
Patience & care was harnessed in this creative exercise.
A sword from a piece of discarded wood.
My son did his first carving & created his first sculpture: a sword 🗡 from a piece of discarded wood.
Achievement: showed that he could FOCUS 🧘 intently on something else other than Nintendo & Minecraft. Also learned that little strokes with the knife 🔪 gives better control and accuracy.
Result: he started & finished a mini-project and experienced a sense if satisfaction in that. He Created a thing of beauty with his own hands. Was happy with what he produced. I was very impressed with his focus and final output.
He earned 2 hours of entertainment after that.
Little strokes create beauty … just as much as little strokes fell big trees.
Zachary carved a sword 🗡 from a discarded block of wood.
Possible repeat of The Dad in the future? Of 2 x World Champion NATURAL physique artist titles?
Time will tell.
Oh well … it’s a start for him in the art of sculpture. Maybe, one day he will sculpt his body with different tools 🛠(Dumbells & nutrition) to build a world -class NATURAL physique.
The greatest warriors: TIME & PATIENCE (It took me 10 years of physique artistry sculpting to have the BEST NATURAL physique in the world).
A 10 year goal of sculpting the Best Natural physique art. Took me 10 years to achieve this. Patience & mastery of instrument.
The most important and most valuable art he works on is “art of/sculpture of the mind “. Believing that there is Power in the Mind. Believing in the Power of his mind….& that that power comes from God. To understand that there are many forms of power – financial power, horse power, Political power etc. but the most important of all is WILL POWER.
The power to go beyond and achieve what was originally thought of as IMPOSSIBLE. as I tell him and his sister, to …
He helps those who help themselves. He meets ALL believers, half way … in their journey towards realising their desires.
I pray that God continues to shower his blessings on you and your loved ones, those you care & value the most… in 2021 and ….
Cheers & ahoy to YOU wherever you are in this place world
The old cap’n Viking Pirate 🏴☠️ & his gritty Viking Pirate 🏴☠️ prince attempting wood carving foe the first time.
Enjoying Kayaking together in Sydney’s beautiful seas
Admiring ‘beauty’ in design and sound …. and getting in touch with our feminine side: Beauty and truth. Be the role model you want your future leader to be. A big responsibility, yes … but take it. Like a man, a Real Man. All the very best I’m with you.
Learning to o come back from failure last year. Olivia did not make it past the Northern Beaches Zone Finals last year. The Top 5 qualify for the Australian National Championships. She re-set her goal to reach the Championships Finals this year. She not only achieved the goal of qualifying for the National Championships but made the The prestigious Top 5 in the Finals (top 16 out of the BEST 60+ girls who qualified). She learned disappointment and strengthened her resilience to try again but this time with better execution. Very proud of this sporting achievement. Note: Physie is an “athletic dance “ that is a fusion of contemporary, ballet, martial arts and beauty of modelling
School Band Captain.
Today she was announced the School BAND Captain for 2021.
Next year, in year six, She will lead the 5 bands (listed below), and will perform in the Top 2 Bands and do solo performances too. She plays the Alto Saxophone.
1) Big Band
2) Stage Band
3) Concert Band
4) Intermediate Band
5) Junior Band
As Band Captain, I know she will carry out her responsibilities of leadership with utmost pride and dedication.
A few of her other achievements –
– Top 5 (she achieved her goal she set at the start : of making it to the Australian Physie championships but also made the Finals (Top 5) out of the Top 60+ best in her age category. In 2019, she didn’t get past the Northern Beaches zone championships (the Top 5 qualify for the Australian Physie Championships). She demonstrated wonderful resilience to bounce back from a disappointment last year
– High Distinction in Level 4 Alto Saxophone Australian Music 🎵 exam
– Premiers writing award 🥇
– School’s Creative Excellence award 🥇
– she’s won the annual Academic Excellence Award 5 years in a row
– Passing the 2 x per week strength,agility,power, flexibility & speed training with me
In the middle of her routine. She worked consistently and persistently all year to be one of the Nations Top 5 dancers in the elite category. A big impressive on her performance last year.
While these awards are wonderful external achievements, I am more impressed by her attitude to herself snd the standards she sets and aspires to and honours. I am more impressed of her development in to the kind of woman with strong values & principles.
In ALL important areas of life.
Art in motion. Australian Champion Physie Dancer 💃 , representing the standard-setting Mosman Physie Club in the lower north shore, Sydney, Australia.
I love 💗 connecting with my daughter on all levels , right from those moments she lived in the 9-month home carried in her mother’s abdomen. I felt her kicks 🦵 and moving body under my touch.
I find real joy in winning her heart every single day.
I am very happy that I have been having weekly “daddy-daughter-dates” almost every week since she was a baby. I have tried to make These dates entertaining & fun but I also try to make it significant as well. I have tried to foster an environment where i can really hear how she is doing and listen to her as she opens up.
My gritty Viking pirate 🏴☠️ princess 👸
We have journeyed together in many ways and I have seen her grow spiritually and on some dates we have connected on a deeper level and … with God.
I also try to show her my commitment to my marriage … to loving my wife of almost 20 years now. I hope it sets an example for my daughter of what a loving, committed relationship looks like. She knows I treat my wife like a queen snd I know she thrives in knowing that she is my princess.
My gritty Champion dancing princess has enough hair for a village.
Her Mother… My wife, my Queen.
I know my wife, Cathy is a key element of my relationship with my girl. I understand fully that my relationship with my children and her are intertwined. I know Olivia feels valued 💕 as a girl when I honour my wife, their mother.
Every single day.(or almost every day)
Here’s what I think 🤔…
“I believe daughters in today’s modern societies and interconnected world need mothers and fathers who have FAITH in God and God’s creative design when it comes to their identity. Society CANNOT and WILL NOT dictate WHO my daughter/your daughter is to be. A daughter needs a few select people in her life who have the BELIEF & CONVICTION and ABILITY to help her become the person God created her to be. I know my daughter will give it her best in whatever she sets her mind to. I’ll be in her corner … ALL THE WAY. As I tell her … God meets those half way … he meets those who helps themselves. “
The 💝alentine tribe (minus our dog 🐶 – Mr Fuzzy/Fussy cuddles
Writing HER OWN Story.
i tell her she is writing /authoring her own story. I tell her to OWN Her Story… & write ✍️ from her heart ❤️. I hope to help her edit it where applicable.
I am looking forward to seeing what she writes in the next year .. two year… 10 years … 15 years … 30 years … 50 years …
One thing won’t change.
I WILL ALWAYS be HER Father & DAD.
I thank God for this blessing… This beautiful human being.