23 August 2019

Hand-Me-Down Wisdom

Me with my own dad.

A few weeks ago, I was getting my driveway re-asphalted and the contractor showed up 15 minutes early. It may not seem like much to comment on, but people being late drives me crazy, so it stood out and I thanked him for it. He told me it was a lesson he’d learned from his father, who’d always told him to be early.

It got me thinking.

Most of us spend our lives inheriting wisdom — from our fathers, mothers, teachers, friends. Then we turn around and hand that advice and more down to others in the hopes that they’ll take it and do better. I, myself, have been doing it for years with my own sons, Kevin and Brian — working to prepare them not just to be great people, but to be great leaders and owners in their own right.

And while I have no plans to step back from the business entirely yet, I’m confident that the “fatherly” advice I’ve passed along to both of them as well as the next generation of leadership at Foundation Software will help them all on their journey — just as the advice I’ve gotten from all of you throughout the years has helped me along on mine.

So the next time you get advice hold onto it. Soon enough it’ll be your turn to hand all that wisdom along to someone else.


— Fred Ode