Nicky Lowe [00:00:06]:
Hi. It’s Nicky Lowe, and welcome to the Wisdom for Working Moms podcast show. I’m your host. And for nearly 2 decades now, I’ve been an executive coach and leadership development consultant. And on this show, I share evidence based insights from my coaching, leadership, and psychological expertise and inspiring interviews that help women like you to combine your work, life, and motherhood in a more successful and sustainable way. Join me and my guest as we delve into leadership and lifestyle topics for women, empowering you to thrive one conversation at a time. I’m so happy that you’re here, and let’s go on with today’s episode. Welcome to another episode of the Wisdom for Working Moms show.

Nicky Lowe [00:00:49]:
I’m your host, Nikki Lowe. And today is a special episode dedicated to Father’s Day. And as we approach Father’s Day in the UK, I found myself really reflecting on my dad’s life, and this year marks 3 years since his death. And he died pretty suddenly. He got diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and died 2 weeks later. So by the time it was diagnosed, it was secondary and was kind of in many of his kind of vital organs. And that year, so 2021, the year he died, was kind of just the if you’ve listened to any of my episodes reflecting on that year, which is one of the most intense years of my life. I seem to just have back to back challenges throughout that year.

Nicky Lowe [00:01:41]:
And I think I just had to get on with his death with everything else that was going on in my life at that time. And it’s only kind of these years later that I’m been able to kind of consolidate my grief and really think about the impact that my dad has had on my life. So in this solo episode, I’ll be sharing some of those reflections about the most impact Really, my dad taught me both consciously and unconsciously, those lessons that have shaped who I am personally and professionally. And so in this episode, I wanna honor his memory and share some of those stories that I hope will get you reflecting on the experience of your dad in your life, whatever that experience might be. Because my systemic coaching training really taught me about having the deep respect for what came before us, in all of its kind of messiness, really helped settle us in our lives. So I hope this reminds you of the profound influence, as I say, your father’s had on your life, whether you’re celebrating with your dad for father’s day, perhaps cherishing the memories of your dad that’s passed, or simply reflecting on the impact fatherhood has had and your father has had on you. So let’s dive into the wisdom passed down to us. And here’s to all the dads out there and the timeless lessons that they leave behind.

Nicky Lowe [00:03:20]:
So let’s get started. Lesson 1 is all about the courage to change your path. One of the most powerful lessons my dad taught me, and again, this was an unconscious lesson, was the courage to change your path. My dad grew up in what I now realize is quite a challenging environment for him. He was one of 6 children. His parents run a pub and 2 of his brothers became alcoholics. And he did his best to try and support them. But I think he recognized that he personally was never gonna be able to save them.

Nicky Lowe [00:04:02]:
And I think he knew that staying where he was would actually prevent him from fulfilling his potential. So he actually made what I now look back and think that was a really brave decision to leave home at a very young age to join the army. And that decision, I think, was based on my dad’s understanding that sometimes, to better your life, you have to step away from what’s familiar and really take a, I suppose, what would have been a really bold step then towards a better future. And his courage to change his path not only shaped his life, but I think in me this importance of taking control of your destiny, even when the odds seem stacked against you. And I think in the army, my dad found structure and discipline and a sense of purpose. And me and my brother always laughed at did the army shape my dad or did my dad choose the army because he had that sense of structure and discipline himself anyway? And I think regardless, it was there that he discovered his potential and really built a life that he was proud of. And I think that always reminds me that no matter how difficult it is to make a change, it’s really important to pursue a path that really aligns with your, I suppose, your potential and your values. And I think that lesson has really helped me to take risks and embrace change, and strive for a life that really fulfills my dreams, my values, my aspirations.

Nicky Lowe [00:05:43]:
And I look back at when I took a bold decision to leave corporate life 20 years ago now. Everybody at the time thought I was crazy. On the outside, I had it all, you know, the massive salary, the amazing job. You know, I was building an amazing lifestyle around that job, but inside it just wasn’t aligned to my values. And I remember taking that courageous step. And as I say, people thinking that I was crazy. But if I look back, I suppose my dad probably paved that way for me. And I’ll be forever for his decision because it was a catalyst for so much in his life, and for the life that he gave me and my brother, including me to my mum.

Nicky Lowe [00:06:32]:
Because my dad actually was stationed in Lebec in Germany, as part of his, kind of, time in the army. That was where he met my mum. My mum was British, but she was working as a nanny for a brigadier. So brigadier is kind of a senior rank in the British Army, looking after their children. And without that decision to change his path as a young man, he wouldn’t have met my mum and I wouldn’t be here today. And actually, he left the army before him and my mum decided to have children. And when he left the army, he went to work for a a company. But actually, several years later, he left that.

Nicky Lowe [00:07:15]:
He left the security of, employment to start his own business with a young family. And he ran that business for over 40 years before selling it just before he retired. And again, I think seeing him and hearing the stories growing up of the courage again, to find his own path, I think has really helped me in my life to do that. So thank you for that lesson, dad. Lesson 2 is the value of time and preparedness. So another lesson my dad instilled in me was the value of time and the importance of being prepared. He was a stickler for time, always early, and always had a deep respect for the people’s time. And again, me and my brother always laugh about, you know, is this something the army instilled in him, or was he always like that? Because my dad believed that time was one of the most valuable resources we have, and I think how he managed that and showed the significance of the impact time can have on our lives.

Nicky Lowe [00:08:26]:
And he taught me that being punctual is more than being a courtesy. It reflects your respect for others and your commitment to your responsibilities. And I think that principle extended to every aspect of his life, from his work to his family commitments. My dad’s punctuality really deMumstrated his reliability and integrity. I think traits that have been crucial in my own personal life and professional life. And it’s interesting because, you know, if you went to pick my dad up, if you turned up at the time that you were meant to, he was always just like waiting on the drive. He was always ready. I’ve never ever known him run late.

Nicky Lowe [00:09:05]:
And, so it kind of instilled in me, you have to be early to actually be on time. And I may have internalized that a little bit too much because I can have like a difficult relationship with time. But actually, it means that I, I respect time deeply. And he wasn’t just on time. He was also a master of preparedness. He believed that preparation was the key to achieving any goal, and he would meticulously plan out what needed to be done, breaking down tasks into manageable steps to really, I suppose, ensure success. Whether it was a family trip, a work project or a personal goal, he always kind of had a plan in his head and would execute really well on it. And I suppose that approach to time and preparation taught me the importance of kind of having goals, creating a plan and sticking to it.

Nicky Lowe [00:10:04]:
And I, I reflect on how that has supported me to try and balance my career and family life, ensuring that I meet my commitments and find time for the things that matter most, and respecting mine and other people’s time. And the older I’m getting, the more I’m realizing what he’s taught me in that area was so important. That time is really our most valuable asset. The 4th lesson, I think, my dad gave me was the importance of being organized and disciplined. So he was a man who kept things in order and didn’t like clutter and was really meticulous in every part of his life, from his personal belongings to his, like, his business affairs. My dad’s dedication to that organization wasn’t just about tiredness. It was about maintaining a sense of control and efficiency that allowed him to navigate life smoothly. He really looked after things and maintained them well.

Nicky Lowe [00:11:10]:
Like you would often find dad clearing out the garage and making sure everything was all in order and could get access to it easily. As I mentioned before, he ran his own business, And his business accounts were a thing of beauty. Like, each night when he came home from work, he would file his receipts and write down everything in his records. So they were always, kind of, in perfect order and he kept on top of them. And that routine not only kept his business running efficiently, but you could see that it provided him with this great peace of mind, knowing that everything was where it was meant to be and everything was accounted for. And his level of disability was truly remarkable. And again, me and my brother would always reflect on, was that something he learnt in the army? Or was and bearing in mind, he was in the army for such a short amount of his life in comparison. So I think he was in the army for probably less than 10 years.

Nicky Lowe [00:12:10]:
And then, obviously, ran his own business and worked in, kind of, in city life for a long time after that. So we were always, you know, did he learn this and he get so deeply embedded in the army? Or was he like that before and just being in the army really supported him and his personality and preferences. He constantly did things that his future self was thanking for, whether it was kind of maintaining his tools, organizing his workspace, or managing his finances. And his disciplined approach ensured that he was, he was never caught off guard. He was always prepared. He had a level of efficiency and productivity. You know, he could find things when he needed to, which saved time and stress. His methodical approach allowed him to run his business efficiently, ensuring that he was always on top of things.

Nicky Lowe [00:13:03]:
It showed a degree of responsibility and reliability. He kept things in order, and it meant he was committed to his responsibilities. It was a clear message that taking care of your things and your work is a reflection of your character. And I think I’ve definitely taken that on board. He had a real sense of mental clarity and focus. Like, his clutter free and organized environments meant that he could just focus and be more productive. He wasn’t somebody that got stressed. He just got things done.

Nicky Lowe [00:13:41]:
And I suppose that was a long term benefit. His disciplined approach to organization meant that he was always doing things his future self would thank him for. And that kind of forward thinking habits ensured his long term success and just groundedness in everything he did. And I’ve definitely taken that on board. Like, I I have a sense of discipline in me that I think has really supported my success. I have to be careful to not be over too over disciplined. And I definitely do stuff that my future self would thank me for. Again, I have to be careful not to borrow too much from the present me to help the future me because I can train myself in doing that.

Nicky Lowe [00:14:28]:
But if I can keep those in a healthy zone, it’s definitely helped me in terms of being organized and disciplined and for the future. And I do tend to uphold that in everything that I do, so I thank him for those lessons. And lesson 5, the 5th and final kinda lesson my dad imparted on me, was actually the art of managing work life balance. He, as I mentioned, ran his own business and built it up to be a really successful business, which he eventually sold before retiring. And there was only him in the business. He did at times expand it to be slightly bigger, but, actually, he was really astute and recognized that a bigger business didn’t necessarily bring him more happiness, it brought him more stress. So he kind of kept his business really kind of, lean, and, and it meant he could mold it to be what he wanted it to be. And, actually, what was truly, I suppose, remarkable was how he achieved this success on his own terms.

Nicky Lowe [00:15:38]:
My dad was extremely committed, yet he never worked in reasonable hours. He understood the importance of balance and kinda made it a priority. Well, I remember in secondary school, my dad took us to school most mornings and was home for dinner with us every night. And he seemed to carve out a balance that worked for him. And don’t get me wrong. Get help with my mum and her, we went to secondary school, was a stay at home mum. So she was able to kind of look after the home, But he still showed up fully in that home. And he, you know, he enjoyed you know, it was him that did all the washing up.

Nicky Lowe [00:16:23]:
He would love to as I say, he was meticulous. He loved to do the washing up. He would cook some some of the meals, not all of them. You know, he he loved doing a barbecue. My dad was barbecue king. And, you know, so he still showed up fully in our family. And that, I think, showed me the commitment to your your work without overworking. So he showed me that it was possible to be highly committed without falling into that trap of overworking.

Nicky Lowe [00:16:54]:
And he seemed to manage his time really efficiently, ensuring that he was productive during work hours and present during family time. And I think that taught me that success doesn’t have to come at the expense of personal well-being or your family relationships. And I think that showed me that the importance of being present for the people you love. And I think those routines that he created really helped create efficiency, but also that bond of being at home instilled in us, really, the value of making time for for what mattered most. I think he was really good at setting boundaries. His ability to balance work and life effectively was really about those clear boundaries. He knew when to switch off from work and focus on family time, and he could give his best in both areas. And I think it’s only in these, as I say, as I’ve got older, that I’ve realized that.

Nicky Lowe [00:17:55]:
And that long term success on his own terms, like, but building a successful business and selling it before he retired, it showed that it was possible to achieve long term success without compromising on his values or his personal life. And that, I think, has taught me that it’s not just about your professional achievements, but being able to really, I suppose, build true fulfilling success, not toxic success. So he wasn’t all about building, like, a big empire and having lots and lots of Mumey, but having a successful business that enabled him to support his family and do the things he wanted in life, but whilst maintaining that fulfilling personal life. And about building sustainable work practices, My dad’s approach to work life balance was sustainable because it was based on realistic, healthy work practices. He understood the importance of not just working hard, but but working smart. And I think I’m constantly coming back to those lessons because I have a tendency to overwork. But pulling it back to, how do I do this smarter? How can I sustain this over the long term without sacrificing my health or happiness? And so as sacrificing my health or happiness? And so as we celebrate Father’s Day, I really reflect on, actually, how my dad was role modeling work life balance and his own approach to managing his career and family. And I think he’s shown me that it is possible to achieve professional success while also being there for your loved ones.

Nicky Lowe [00:19:33]:
And, actually, his legacy is something I strive to emulate every day because he’s taught me so much. And it’s only, as I say, a few years after his death that I’m able to really consolidate those life lessons. So I hope this episode has perhaps given you some insight into me and my family, but also has helped you to reflect on this father’s day, the lessons that you’re taking from your dad. And I appreciate not everybody has their dad around still, or has a relationship that they want with their dad. But even in there, I really encourage you to go mining for the gold. What are the life lessons, good and bad, that you’ve taken from your father and this father’s day. I hope they help you reflect on your own life. Until next time, take care, and thanks for listening.

Nicky Lowe [00:20:35]:
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