Life Lessons: Steven Dodds

My Dad

As I’ve grown older, I’ve come to appreciate my dad immensely and how he has shaped me. His onset of Alzheimer’s has forced me to look more closely at his merits and guidance, as the Dad I once knew slowly fades from view. I’ve come to realise that I’ve learned a great deal from my dad by watching and observing, not just from the ‘’pearls of wisdom’’ he has shared with me.  

The Lessons He Taught Me...

1. Have a practical mindset

As a child in the ‘70s and 80s, my dad could most often be found in the garage. He had an extensive tool collection and was pretty handy with woodwork, building stuff and – the mainstay of that era – DIY.    

Whilst I definitely do not have the skills nor patience in these areas that he had – far from it - I think he has passed on a certain practicality. I enjoy servicing and looking after my bike, something I have been able to do since I was a kid, which I must have picked up from watching him tinker in the garage. And, if something breaks in the house, I will try to fix it (one can achieve a lot with duct tape and super glue!) before consigning it the bin. 

2. Be a constant presence for your family.

One of the nicest things I can say about my dad is that he was always there. Whilst he was not necessarily a ‘hands on’ father, he was always present – a constant and solid character from the day I was born.   

 The family holidays, the Christmases, the nightly family dinners, the Saturday afternoons and the long slow Sundays of the 70s, Dad was there. He liked being with his family. 

 It may not sound like much, but I’m hugely thankful, and I share the affection he showed us with my own family today. 

3. Show an interest in others.

My Dad never suffered from shyness or reticence in company and can happily chat to anyone. He has an ability to simply talk, without a trace of self-consciousness. I am more of an introvert than he is, but when I feel like it I can ‘work a room’ or strike up a conversation just as well as he can. 

 He liked people and was interested in them, whoever they were or whatever their background. It’s an admirable trait, and something I hope I share with him today. 

Andy McAleese

I lost my dad, Robert, to cancer over 20 years ago.  His bold, thoughtful and reassuring nature has stood me in good stead throughout my life. He was someone who led by example, believing that fulfilment comes from loving what you do, his own career change being testimony to this.  

Madison Bailey

My Dad Andy is a business coach so he’s pretty great at giving measured advice and helping people to work through obstacles, teach them how to be better leaders or advise them how to make their businesses run more efficiently. As a college student, I now look back at some of the things Dad instilled in me as a child and I can definitely see how he translated his key wisdom into lessons to live life by.