From Mike: In the Marcon Family, we have a tradition around birthdays. We skip the store-bought Hallmarks and make each other cards. This one, from my son Matthew, was too heartfelt not to share. It shows parents that the sacrifices are worth it. It shows leaders that your values are observed and incorporated. In everything Matthew does, I’m proud of him.
When someone asks who my idols/role models are, it’s usually a revolving door of athletes, musicians, and celebrities. But without fail, there is always someone I never forget to mention — my dad. I know it is somewhat cliché to say that your dad is your role model, but in my case, he is.
When I was younger, my dad drilled in the thought of hard work, determination, or going the extra mile, mostly instilled through baseball. The many hours and miles we traveled for baseball games and (showcase) camps are some of my favorite memories with my dad. I can remember the countless times he pulled me into a batting cage or a field to practice. Quickly, it turned from “Matt, stop playing your gamestation, we’re going to hit ground balls,” to “Hey old man, get off your conference call, can you hit me ground balls?” I have taken this mentality he taught me and brought it into other parts of my life.
One of the aspects I really admire about my dad is his journey through his career. Obviously I wasn’t around for the beginning of it, but I heard him tell different stories of how he got to be as successful as he is today. Just as how he taught me with baseball, what he was doing was never good enough. He was constantly striving to be better, get more clients, and make his company bigger, more successful. In my own career, I am constantly striving to be more like my dad. I want to be as successful as my dad, be as known and well respected in my field just like my dad.
Over my 24 years, I know I have taken advantage of all of the things my dad has done for me. There are probably even things he’s done that I don’t know about. He might have protected me from aliens by promising his organs to them to study after he dies in return for my safety! What a guy… But I do know that my dad was at all of my baseball games, except one (one of my best ones). I have never had an important life event where I can’t remember my dad being there. Even during the times when he was traveling back and forth from California to Wisconsin, he was always able to make every sporting event. I felt a calming reassurance before every game being able to look into the stands, see my dad and tip my cap.
I am constantly thinking about how much my dad has done for me and it’s impossible to sum up in one post. I try to come up with ways to repay or thank him for everything he has done for me. The only thing I can do is take all of the experiences and knowledge he has given me and apply it. As I think about my future and how I envision it, I want to be able to be there and present for my children and watch them tip their cap at me.
Michael C. Marcon is the founder of Equity Risk Partners and former chairman of the Ursinus College board of trustees. He tweets from @mcm7464. Tweet him any of your questions about business, leadership or life.