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Thankful for wise leadership: GFBJ Publisher Marty Cayton dedicates this issue to his dad, Guy Cayton

By Marty Cayton, posted Nov 23, 2022 on

Photo provided by Marty Cayton

Happy early Thanksgiving!


I n my family, we will all gather together this Thursday for the traditional feast. One thing in particular that we will enjoy is hearing stories and experiences of the past from my in-laws as well as my mom and dad. Fun filled wisdom that can only come with gray hair. 

This issue of Greater Fayetteville Business Journal takes time to reflect on this kind of applied knowledge. We’ve interviewed some retired businesspeople who have pearls of wisdom for all of us. I’m sure you will enjoy reading their answers to our questions in the pages ahead. 

That brings me to my own experience of receiving advice and direction. My dad has been a great mentor of mine over the years. His career in electronics and communications spanned over 57 years until his retirement in 2017. An Air Force Veteran and the owner and leader of four different businesses, his advice has been lived, and still rings true to my ears today. Here are some of his words of wisdom.

  1. It’s not what you can do, but it’s what others are willing to do. Dad recognized the accomplishments of others before his own. He did not subscribe to the “everyone gets a trophy” mentality that we see quite often today. But he was quick to give credit where it was deserved. His team of employees were loyal and hardworking. He knew any success he had, was due in large part to their willingness to do their best.
  2. It’s not what you expect, it’s what you inspect. This might sound a bit micro-managerial in today’s business world, but it was not then nor is it now. Dad’s focus was about accountability and quality control. He believed that if you were going to do something, you should do it the right way and part of his job was to periodically test this expectation.
  3. The bottom line. My dad would use these three words a lot, most often to crystallize a point, and it worked to keep his team focused on what was most important to our mission.
  4. Later in my dad’s business career, he found faith in Jesus. It reinforced many of these principles but also changed him in how he delivered his advice, adding his newfound faith to the mixture of hard work. His favorite verse is Colossians 3:23. “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men.” 

My dad is still actively living out his faith today. Teaching his family how to grow old and stay on mission. That’s the bottom line! 


God bless you and yours!

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