I am the father to a nearly 14 year old son. A son who I love dearly, but who frustrates me frequently. From the time he could communicate, he was right about everything, and very confident in his own opinions. There’s a book title that fit him perfectly: “Often Wrong, Never in Doubt”. That’s the boy.  

Now, as a father to a maturing young man, I want to teach him the importance of humility, of being willing to accept new information, of asking questions and seeking new ways of looking at things.  

Have you tried to teach logic to a teenage boy? It’s a smelly, frustrating affair. It should surprise no one that my attempt to explain how Socrates viewed the “root of all wisdom to be found in an admission that you know nothing” failed, miserably. 

A few weeks ago, on vacation, the boy was taking advantage of the law that allows him to pilot a motorboat at age 13. He was moving at a high rate of speed, and I needed to tell him to slow down. He disagreed momentarily until I pointed out that he was gaining to quickly on another boat and that from our angle he couldn’t tell which way they were likely to turn and he wasn’t leaving himself an out. It wasn’t exactly dangerous but it was good he slowed down. 

Fast forward to 2 hours later, he says to me, “Sorry I disagreed with you. You were right, and I had never thought of that before.”


Honestly, I just about couldn’t believe what I was hearing. And I mention it because I am certain that there are things you have to say over and over in your business. Things you have to repeat that seem like second nature to you, but that get met with blank stares at best. This is how I felt for the last 5-10 years with my son, but almost overnight, with no discernible catalyst, he’s suddenly thinking outside himself. So there’s hope, and there’s good reason to keep saying the important things you say.