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I don’t know about you, but I’m a sucker for a good read about the impact a father had on their child(ren)’s life, be it in remembrance of the dad or simply lessons imparted by him. Below are two pieces I’ve recently read which resonated with me.

Mark Suster is an entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist who produces a prodigious amount of content in the form of blog posts, tweets and even “Snapstorms” on Snapchat. I typically consume Mark’s content wearing my marketer/startup enthusiast hat, but I’ve always appreciated that he intersperses personal elements, including this excellent post about a valuable lesson he learned from his mother. A few weeks ago, Mark’s father passed away, prompting him to share a post he had published 5 years ago about lessons learned from his dad. I hadn’t read the post previously and I enjoyed it tremendously. I especially respected that Mark had the foresight to write the post while his father was alive to read and appreciate it.

I encourage you to read the post in its entirety, but I wanted to quickly call out one passage which particularly resonated with me.

“My dad always turned up. He was at my games — I don’t remember ever having a soccer match or basketball game that he didn’t attend. I still try to move mountains to be at my kids’ sports events. Knowing you have support really matters. Knowing that to your dad you’re the most important thing in the world lets you feel protected — part of a tribe.”

I have a vivid memory from my own childhood which underscores this philosophy having been shared by my own father. As a senior in high school, I called my dad’s office, where he was a busy healthcare insurance executive. His assistant answered the phone and – after I said who was calling – she replied, “good luck in your big game against your rival on Thursday.” I asked her how she knew and she explained that my father had put my entire season’s schedule in his calendar in hopes of avoiding scheduling conflicts in the office and enabling him to attend as many games as possible. Even at the age of 17, this struck me as a remarkable commitment but only as I struggled to balance my own personal and professional lives 20 years later did I fully grasp the complexities involved. I now have a whole other level of appreciation for how impressive it was that my father somehow managed to regularly attend late afternoon or early evening soccer and basketball games of mine, often returning to the office afterward to finish working. This is a topic I’ll surely be revisiting and tackling in greater depth in an upcoming post.

Sally Jenkins, a columnist for the Washington Post, has long been one of my favorite sportswriters. Unfortunately, she too recently lost her father, a fellow sportswriter, as well. In the wake of his death, Sally wrote a piece entitled, “My father made me laugh, and now I have a problem.” In the column, she shared a familiar sentiment which stood out to me. 

“As great a writer as he was, I don’t know that you can say anything higher about a guy than that his children preferred his company to all others and his approval to all the credit in the world.”

For all his talents and accomplishments, there’s no greater accolade she could bestow upon him than the respect and adulation of his children. This reminded me of a great quote shared by Dax Shepard during a recent live recording of his podcast at the Dad 2.0 Summit in which he said, “I’d much rather be a mediocre actor and a great dad than the other way around.” I agree with the underlying sentiment shared by both. Put simply: the most important job a man will ever hold is being a father, not their profession.

Have you read a great piece of content about a dad recently that you’d recommend? Please share it with me below in the comments or on Twitter, where I’m @DadLifeStories. Thanks for reading!