Lessons from My Father – What makes an artist…from a Haircut

My father and his wonderful wife came up from Florida to be at my daughter’s 5th birthday party. My father is retired from corporate life but is now a golf club repair specialist. He used to work on the Champion’s PGA Tour before settling in to do work from his home shop near Fort Walton Beach.

He asked me where do I get my haircut? I was waiting for the punch line because it sounded like a set up, but then looking at his own hippie dippie length hair I realized he actually needed one.

I said I get it cut at the barber shop here in Fair Lawn and they’re really good. So he said let’s go. I know a lot of people would hesitate to get their haircut at some random place. People are very particular about their hair. But my dad could care less. Let’s go.

I usually get my hair cut by a beautiful Israeli woman named Irit who knows what she’s doing. She doesn’t waste time and she’s precise. She happened to be there and within 5 minutes my dad was in her chair. I left him in her capable hands and went to the bank. I stopped by the wine store to buy a bottle of Fragolino for the occasion.

When I got back to the barber shop my father’s hair was cleanly snipped and neatly shaped. I was gone for maybe 10 minutes tops and she was practically done. My father’s first words to me were “This woman is an artist!”

My father is an opinionated man.  When it comes to his judgments, he doesn’t pull any punches. They’re delivered with the righteousness of Jules Winnfield (Samuel L. Jackson) in Pulp Fiction or the weight of James Earl Jones circa FIELD OF DREAMS. You never doubt his word or conviction. The Gods have spoken. As a kid I was used to hearing the other side of the coin, so it was so refreshing to hear a RAVE with enthusiasm coming from my father’s mouth.

She finished by shaving the back of his neck. My dad said it must be over 30 years since he’s had someone do that. When he got home later he said we have to bring this woman to Florida to his wife.

In the car my father said something that I don’t think I’ll ever forget. He said she’s an artist again, and said “you can easily tell the difference between someone who loves and cares about what they do and someone who’s just doing a job.  That’s why I’m always busy.”

He meant it.  I’ve seen him with customers and PGA pros.  He takes great care and time with each one of them. He leaves no stone unturned in not only building, tweaking and repairing clubs but testing them and informing them of the latest changes swing and technology that can dramatically improve their game.

He goes above and beyond for his customers almost like he’s personally responsible for them improving their golf game. I’ve seen pros teach who don’t nearly come close to how much attention and commitment he delivers.

I thought about how I’ve been in my own business with my entertainment company Lightning Shakes New York. How I treat my clients. How I feel the same level of passion, responsibility and commitment to give them something of great worth. I thought about what our amazing clients say about our level of care and it hit me. This is something I’ve learned and taken from my father. I’ve been doing the same thing my entire life and never put the two together.

If you define an artist as someone who is competent, capable, and demonstrates a level of excellence at what they do, BUT goes beyond the simple delivery of that talent and ability by offering what amounts to their LOVE and PASSION to you each time, then my father is an artist as well. And I have learned from an artist.

Our clients get the very best because I learned from someone who thinks good enough is not good enough. That great is so much better that good.  And if you have something of value to offer you give it fully, filling them up with as much as you can give them.

And that artists are to be celebrated and revered because they genuinely give you something of such WORTH they make YOU feel happy, alive and thankful.

What a great lesson learned from a haircut.

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1 Response to Lessons from My Father – What makes an artist…from a Haircut

  1. Dave says:

    I really like this article. Why shouldn’t I?………I am the Partymeister’s father. What he has described is something called “Total Quality” in business and industry. It is a philosophy and practice of goodness, greatness and a continuous striving for improvement. It is a desire to DELIGHT the customer, rather than just to “do the job”. So–the customer’s requirements must not only be “just met”, but met perfectly and way beyond expectation. If this philosophy and practice became rampant, people to people, throughout the USA–there would be no country in the world that could out-excell us. I hope I live long enough to see it happen………….!!!!

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