As a child, my father chiseled and sculpted my brother and I with strong family values, a unique sense of self, and a strong work ethic. He raised us to be “the working man’s nobility.” The Babb family are regal simply complex people- nobles in their own right. We walk with the demeanor of knowledgeable, determined, inspired, earnest, honest, and diligent artisans. We aren’t people in love with our work, we love the ability to work. Waking up and knowing that there is a place that we can work drives us to be better people. We are a family that believe people should die working because we will be measured and remembered by our work. That measurement of work is seen in our children and the impressions that we leave on people. We recognize that pleasure is best after a good deal of work is completed and obstacles are overcame with our nimble dexterity. Even without an employer, the Babbs still find work to occupy their time. Work provides a sense of self-worth. My father taught me that it isn’t the salary or financial wealth that defines your self-worth, but it is the impact of your work that defines your self-worth.
My father began teaching me his philosophy of work before I could even formulate an intelligent sentence. He reinforced his lessons during the small activities sucha as tieing a shoe. You don’t want to just tie your shoe; you want to tie your shoe in a way that it doesn’t fall untied and you need to learn how to do it yourself. He taught us to take pride in our work because “work” is an extension of our identity. As young African-American men, there is a stereotype that we are not honest, earnest, and hardworking individuals. The stereotype suggests that we cut corners, dishonestly hustle, and nickel and dime our way into success. As a result, my father taught my brother and I to be twice as good in order to combat the negative stereotype that has been created for African-American men since the time our ancestors were brought over on slave ships.
My father’s lessons and dreams have shaped my brother and I into overachievers in order to get any credit from our superiors. I remember even coloring, my father noticed how I went out of the lines just a little bit, he reiterated to me the rest of the coloring job was good, but people will only notice the part I colored out of the lines. He continued to tell me there is nothing wrong with making mistakes, but mistakes are the only thing that people remember in times of despair. So, your successes during these times are of dire importance. He taught us to be fearless and push through the boundaries and remain successful in our endeavors. Failure was never an option growing up, and people defeat failure by working through it. My father’s hammer and chisel chipped my brother and my close friends into champions. My father is a champion. Champions work and overcome adversity. With this long-winded introduction, I dedicate this blog to my first and most important physical boss- my father.
In my short lifetime, I’ve had many bosses. I’ve been fortunate enough to have good men and women as bosses. From my first official job at Micro-City Government (14 years young) to my most recent job at Gorilla Systems Corporation, my bosses have been wonderful people and even better mentors. I’ve learned more from them than they cared to teach. I’ve learned from their mannerisms that exhibit leadership to the ways they make hard decisions. I’ve noticed how they handle their frustrations and how they managed their successes. I’ve watched as their visions dimmed, and how they cast light toward an even brighter and better vision. In the absence of my father, my bosses taught me life lessons that inspire and fuel me in my real job, which is a life of success.
In the course of my 31 years on planet Earth, my father tasked me with my main occupation which is work toward a successful living. Success is more than a way of life. It is work. You must work at success in order to be successful. As I have the privilege to eat from the tree of success, I would like to pour the libations of my sweat across its’ roots in dedication to my bosses and their bosses that made them the individuals they are today. If it weren’t for great bosses in my past, I would not be the person that I am today.
I’ve worked in numerous positions in many different and diverse industries. I’ve worked each position like it was the last thing that I would do in life. I’ve been fortunate to have bosses to notice my passion for work and direct me through the mine fields that destroy ambitious people and point me toward success. For their leadership, I only offer my loyalty. As I write this, I debate if I should embellish the readers of my blog with some of my bosses’ lessons….
I’ve decided to keep them locked away in my mind and my heart. If I ever become someone’s boss, then they will get the key to the lockboxes that hold the ideas, philosophies, and actions of the people that held my hand on the stairway to success. My dear readers, I do apologize because my intention was to tell you some of the lessons from these great people, but I would rather you stroll down your own memory lane and revisit some of the lessons your bosses, good and bad, taught you on how to work toward success.
Cheers and thank you for understanding.
Matter of fact, I’m about to take stroll down memory lane and this time I’m bringing my heart’s camera just to capture something that I may have missed on my journey.