It is no small thing to be a father — to watch someone grow from youth into adulthood. How powerful a thing it is to have the opportunity to be a guiding force in someone’s life, helping them through tough times, celebrating with them through joyous occasions, and being a mentor, an inspiration, and a guardian.
Fathers do more than just help raise us; they can help shape us and mold the people we eventually become. They don’t just set us on a path in life, they can show us what that path can be. They can inspire us with their example, and guide us with their counsel. They can influence us, and that influence extends to everyone around us. They can not only touch our lives, but also the lives of everyone we meet along the way.
But fatherhood can mean a lot of different things. Some fathers are the men who helped create us; men who were with us at the beginning of our lives and all throughout, offering love, comfort, and guidance. Other fathers are men who step into our lives somewhere along the way, and to step up to become a father figure. This could be a brother, an uncle, or a friend.
In my case, it was my grandfather. My father has been out of my life since my parents divorced when I was two. Thankfully my mother was a resilient single parent. And she had help. Even though my father was gone, that does not mean I was fatherless.
My grandfather was a great man. He was president of the local United Auto Workers Union, and a veteran. He was my guiding light, and a strong hand. He taught me about being a man, being an American, and being a Kentuckian. But most of all, he was there for me in good times and bad, offering comfort and advice.
My grandfather taught me it is not what you make, it is what you keep. And he taught me that there would be no need for unions if companies did the right thing for their employees and their families.
That is why, when I built Rubicon, I decided we were not going to ask our employees to pay for their health insurance, we would just give it to them. We pay for all of it. And because of that, and our other generous employee benefits, Rubicon is a three-time “Great Place to Work” and one of glassdoor.com's “11 Companies with Seriously Impressive Benefits.”
At Rubicon, we believe in eliminating waste in all of its forms, including wasted productivity. We believe in hiring the best people and treating them right. And all of that came from the values my grandfather taught me.
That is why this Father’s Day, I want you to join me in celebrating the fathers, whoever they may be. Whether they are our biological dads, or men who stepped up into the role of father, let us recognize the men who helped make us who we are, and without whom our lives — and the lives of everyone whose lives we touch — would not be the same.