Following The Leader…Papa Geno by George Madiou

Papa w/ George & Papa Geno

Becoming Who Others Want To Follow, We’re in the Leadership Development Business!

I come from a family of leaders. My family has been blessed to have great role models. Too many to list. The individual successes have been a result of a legacy of individual people that we were able to follow and learn incredible life lessons from.

I choose to pick out just a few (not to start a family discussion about who I left out, we’ll leave that for our next family gathering.) I want to take this special time to share some personal insights. These insights are meant to have you reflect upon who you have chosen to follow. Good or bad, we all follow someone. It’s never too late to change who we follow, if it is someone in our life that was GREAT, keep it up. If not so great, it’s not too late to change directions. It’s your life, this is not a dress rehearsal, this is the real play!

Make each day count, people are watching you, make it that it inspires others to want to follow your example!

The first person I want to mention is my Grandfather Frank, known as Papa. During the depression, he had a great job that he was able to support my grandmother and his 4 children (including my mom.) Unfortunately, Papa passed away at a very early age in his late forties. My twin brother Gene and I were the only grandchildren out of 11 that he got to hold. Everyone loved Papa! 7 years ago I got to honor Papa on the cover of my magazine (no one knew who those twins and that man were) depicting “Duplication”!

The second person that I learned from and followed was my Dad.

He was the first to teach me the love of our country and he was the first to teach me about being an entrepreneur.

He was a true hero. He joined the army before World War II. He was a highly decorated soldier in his 5 years crossing through Europe including the D-Day invasion. As a father to me and my brothers Gene and Ray and our sister Toni, it was interesting growing up in a Staff Sargent’s household! The first thing we learned was discipline. We also learned if we weren’t 15 minutes early we were late!

The most influential person in my life has been my twin brother Gene (better known as Papa Geno!)

Everybody loves Gene. He has taught me to be a great husband, father, and Papa. He has taught me to be a great businessman. He has taught me to show love and compassion for everyone we come in contact with.

Someone recently asked how old we were. I told her we just turned 70 but if you count the time in the womb, we’ve been together for about 71 years!

Gene is the funniest person I have ever known. People would ask us “How many minutes apart were you born?” Gene would proudly answer “26 minutes! I wasn’t in a hurry, it was the first time I had a womb of my own!”

Gene and I have been having this disagreement since early on… people would ask “which one of you are older?” Gene would quickly state, “I am!” “Well, I use the accounting method we learned in college, first in, last out!”

I have never known anyone who has moved so many people the way Gene does.

My heart is sad today because my best friend Papa Geno passed away this week. I can’t think of a better way to pay tribute to this special person than to use this platform to have Papa Geno continue to teach others through his story.

God bless you, Geno, I’ll catch you on our next adventure!

Papa Geno my best friend!
George Madiou
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