PART IV – How Business Trips Will Teach Quality in Work and the Power of Relationships
Quality time with family is so important. When each of my boys reach 10 years old, they know something special will happen. That is when they begin planning a one-on-one trip with me during the summer for 5 to 7 days. This trip is always to accompany me on a business trip to another city or country, sit in each of the business meetings, and get to experience what it is their father does for a living. What’s exciting is this is a trip they get to have every year and always to a different location.
During the day they sit in everyone of my business meetings which gives me an opportunity to see first hand the relationships that I have and what causes business to progress. These trips aren’t all work and no play. We are sure to plan experiences that are uniquely important to them and who they are. In the past, my sons have chosen to play golf at a course they’ve always heard about or view a great play in London or NYC, or go to a baseball game at Fenway Park in Boston. I try to give them the experience of visiting my favorite restaurants or sites in cities that I often visit as well to share with them my passions, as well.
It is amazing having my boys with me and sharing that time with them. I greatly enjoy sharing with them my passion for the work I do as well as teaching them why I do and say what I do in meetings, how to act professionally and how to present myself. All of these elements are vitally important to success and are applicable no matter what career path they take in life. These are real life moments where I can take the opportunity to teach them important lessons while at the same time watching grow personally and professionally as they develop their own powerful presence.
With sons who are now 23, 20, 11 and 9, I’m looking forward to the trips this summer. Brennan counted down the months until his 10th birthday, as he knew his trip was coming. And my second son, Barrett, who turns 21 in April just asked me, “Where are we going this summer, Dad?” The tradition will continue with Bryson, our 9 year old, being he’s already naming the places he wants to go. The countless memories that have been forged and the experience each of my sons have gained from our family and individual trips, is my way of preparing them for the real life situations that they will experience once they are running their own companies or working in their field of choice. They are developing their leadership skills, world view, and business insights that will be tied to our times together.
The memories for me though are worth more than any trophy or any amount of money that I possess. Sitting on the plane sometimes by myself reliving in my mind the different trips, deep conversations, the laughter and seeing their eyes light up when they do something they’d only imagined. Memories…..Braden at 11 years old, staying in London at the Lanesborough Hotel, touring history with my son, seeing a play on London’s “Broadway” and walking the streets of London, eating at my favorite Chinese restaurant Hakkasan and talking about the days meetings. Waking up in the morning on the coast of California with Barrett at 14 years old, driving in the car to our first meeting and talking about our day, seeing him in the crowd as I spoke at an investment banking conference and feeling more pride knowing one of the most important people in the world was watching me, playing golf in the afternoon then feeling so incredible that night as we watched the San Francisco Giants win their first game of the playoffs in the season they won the World Series. My first trip with Brennan to Puerto Rico where we boarded the plane and I looked to see the amazing smile of happiness, scuba diving with him in crystal blue water and him standing on stage with me as he spoke with such eloquence and price about some of the most incredible people in the world. Memories I’ll cherish for a lifetime!
These trips are designed to expand my son’s horizons and broaden their worldly perspectives, but I find myself constantly learning from my son’s unique vision and dreams. In the end, I may appreciate these trips even more than my sons do. I cannot wait for our next trip together.