My Dad is awesome. I know a lot of kids say that about their dad, but I have lots of other people who also agree with me.
While working at General Electric in the early 50’s he started taking classes at Northeastern University in Boston. His mom wondered what was wrong with him, why would anyone need anything more than a steady job at GE?
After 8 years of night classes, and a new daughter, he graduated and took a job selling business equipment for Burroughs Corporation in downtown Boston. As the Kennedy administration was getting familiar with leading the country, my dad was selling top-of-the-line adding machines to businesses allowing them more free time to run their business. He lead the office in sales on a regular basis all while building relationships with the other salesmen and business owners.
He was eventually promoted to be the branch manager of the new Central Massachusetts office in Worcester. When we moved from Boston’s North Shore to we were a family of 5. He ran the Worcester office so well, he won awards and his team made a lot of money, but he missed the face-to-face connection he had with his customers.
By the late 60’s Burroughs had started dabbling in the new computer age, my Dad was a natural at all the early computer logic problems. A start-up company called Keydata swooped in and grabbed the best salesmen and techy guys around Massachusetts. He jumped at the chance to go back to taking care of customers rather than salesmen. He loved the easy going style of Keydata, and the camaraderie of the team. He loved the job right up until the day he was called in and told they were going out of business.
He quickly landed a senior sales engineer position at LeFebure about 1970. LeFebure sold bank security stuff, and my Dad was always one of the top salesman in the country. That’s where my memories start to become clear of my Dad as an awesome social media guru (although nobody used that title back then).
I can remember tagging along with my Dad to some of his appointments, especially in the summer. Sometimes he would have me wait in the car, or give me a couple of dollars to roam around while he meeting bank presidents, but many times he would have me go in with him. He would introduce me as his ‘assistant’ and I would get to sit and watch my Dad in all his glory practice his craft. He was relaxed, smooth, intelligent, well informed and friendly. He wasn’t selling, he was explaining to the bank the answer to their problems, and he just happen to represent the company that supplied those answers. Bringing me along allowed him to also talk to those guys on a more human level.
In the 70’s and early 80’s there were only 3 companies selling bank security equipment. It was a very competitive field, and you were always up against the same guys. My dad didn’t always win, but the bank president’s would often call him and ask about the competitors bids, to make sure they weren’t getting taken. My Dad always took pride in answering those questions honestly and keeping the deeper relationship intact.
The deeper I get into the social media scene, the more I realize I had been learning Social Media my whole life, from the best teacher in the world. My Dad.
My Dad taught me, who taught you?