There's an old English Proverb that says, "One father is more than a hundred schoolmasters." We sometimes overlook a father's influence, especially since moms always get a lot more attention --flowers, nice gifts, brunch on Mother's Day; for Father's Day, dad gets another tie. STEPHAN POULTER, a clinical psychologist and author of "The Father Factor," who talks about five different kinds of dads and how they influence our career choices and who we function on the job. Here they are:
1. Time Bomb Dad. He was the explosive father. Often a great guy but sometimes unpredictable, maybe drunk some days, moody on others. Kids of this kind of father enter the workplace and are often very anxious, and may have trouble feeling safe and developing trust. But often they're skilled at conflict resolution and may be effective negotiators or personnel managers.
2. The Super Achiever. This is the dad who's all about performance. He's very task-oriented. Many times his children felt like whatever they did wasn't good enough for him. On the other hand, in the workplace, they're often the most productive because they're able to finish tasks, get jobs done, and do it without a lot of red tape, or by cutting through it. But they also may have a very hard time relating to their supervisor because they don't wanna speak up and get creamed.
3. The Passive Dad. The joke might be, is dad asleep on the couch or is he dead? He's a great guy who showed his love by action, not words. He's the guy who worked for General Motors for 30 years. Many times the sons and daughters of a passive dad are also passive in their own lives. They often get labeled as underachievers or unmotivated, but really, they're just passive.
4. The Absent Dad. This is when you hear, "Oh, I never knew my dad, my parents got divorced when I was three." This is a dad who's not really involved in the life of his kids, emotionally, mentally or physically. In the workplace, kids of this dad may be the angry personality, or they may turn their anger into passion and be very productive.
5. The Compassionate Mentor. It's the dad who motivates, helps his kids find out what they wanna do and provides the tools to get them there. This is the dad we all wanna be, or want to tell everyone we all had, but only about 10 percent of dads fit this category.
# # #Often dads fit a little bit into more than one category, or they show signs of another category as they and their children age and as the relationship between father and children changes. One could be a better father in his 40s and 50s than in his 20s and 30s. Or not. At the same time, the influence of your father is ongoing in you as you change in life, and as you change if and when you become a father, and throughout the changing relationship between you and your children as you age together. That idea sort of parallels a great quote about fathers by someone named FRANK PITTMAN: "Fathering is not something perfect men do, but something that perfects the man."
FYI: It's worth mentioning that Poulter's own father does not speak to him now that the book has been published.