I have great parents. My mom, June Elder, taught me through consistent example about love and service. My father, Richard H. Elder, patiently taught me about character, ethics, business and leadership.
My dad was a self-employed CPA in the Seattle area of the State of Washington and was a trusted advisor to many businesses and wealthy entrepreneurs. I love and admire my dad and what he accomplished in his career. From an early age I can remember playing “businessman” in his home office with a view of Mt. Rainier from his desk in Seattle, Washington. I guess those many hours wasting his adding machine tape and legal pads helped me absorb his passion for business.
My dad is a great teacher. His method of teaching is to identify the core issue and provide a framework to discover a solution using principles. He always spoke of principles. In fact, we as children would often roll our eyes when my dad would say “let me teach you a principle.” At the time, we thought our dad was just being preachy. Now that I am older and have five children of my own, I see the wisdom in what he was trying to do. He understood that instead of just disciplining us, which he still did even after the lecture, he must first explain the deeper truth or principle of what he was trying to reinforce. If he taught us correct principles and how to apply them, we would be able to have a sound and reusable framework to life once he was no longer there to guide us.
Basically, my dad was teaching me a principle about teaching with principles. “Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.” This is a powerful axiom with many facets. First, there is an underlying assumption that there are correct and incorrect principles. Second that if we had correct principles taught, and we believed in them, we would then make decisions on how to act or “govern ourselves” when not having specific direction on what to do.
That instruction has been burned so deeply into my life that I started looking for principles or patterns of axioms that could be captured and formed into a framework that could not only be applied to personal development, but also be applied to leadership, business and career development.
Over the span of my career, I have captured what I call the “Elder Axioms” related to life, leadership, business and career development. These principles have become my framework of life gleaned from lessons learned either from my own experience or from the experience of others. I have relied on these axioms to guide my decisions and they have not failed me.
The purpose of this blog is more for me to share the Elder Axioms and offer my views on leadership, business and career development. I’m sure personal development topics will creep their way into the discussion. My hope and intent is that the axioms will help others who come after me.
I will eventually set up an RSS feed for those who want to follow me. I will also tweet updates @StevenLeeElder. Feel free to follow, comment, and join me on the quest to identify leadership, business and career axioms.
I would have to also say that another purpose of my writing, probably more deeply held, is to honor my parents for what they taught me. I will forever be grateful to them for teaching me how to look for and apply principles to life’s adventures. I’ve told them in person of my gratitude and now I want to thank them in front of the world.
Thanks Mom and Dad. You’re the best. I love you.