Dan Flaherty, the leader of our Paint & Fine Finishing Division, just turned 20 this month! Let us explain. Even though he doesn’t look a day over 60 or so, he has reached the 20-year employment milestone at Murphy Bros.! So, we wanted to congratulate Dan for his incalculable contributions to our firm and to the lives of thousands of clients whose homes he has helped transform.
And if you would like to do the same, and share any stories you have, please do so here.
Raconteur, borderline curmudgeon, seer and knower of all things paint, down to the molecular level, Dan is that rare leader anxious to share humorous stories of his own trials and errors to instruct and motivate others. Dan’s, “How hard can it be” stories are legendary, featuring his own projects as examples of what not to do.
In fact, in a recent interview for a tell-all book about his experiences, Dan was asked to recall how he gained all his knowledge.
Q. So, Dan you’ve been at this a long time…
A. Let me stop you there. What exactly do you mean a long time?
Q. Oh, ah, I have it here in my notes that you had played hooky during your schools years with President Truman.
A. Are you sure that wasn’t hockey near my residence with two men? You reporters drive me nuts. Truman was born in 1884. So for me to be in school with him, I’d have to be somewhere north of 130 years old!
Q. Sorry, you obviously don’t look a day over…ah, we’ll get that corrected for the record. Now, as you know most people think of you as Murphy’s paint guru. How did you acquire all this knowledge?
A. Well, I wasn’t born with a paintbrush in my hand if that’s what you mean. Actually, I think this story explains it best. A few years back, I was testifying in support of a paint application lawsuit for one of our former employees against a builder whose painting was so poor a preschooler could have done a better job while napping. The lawyer for the defendant asked me in the deposition, “So what makes you an expert Mr. Flaherty.” I thought short and hard because he sort of caught me off guard with that question. I then replied, 30 years of making mistakes and fixing them. The arbiter paused for moment and then said, “Good enough for me.”
So, I think that’s the real key to amassing a body of knowledge—make plenty of mistakes, but learn from all of them.
Outside of his extensive knowledge regarding paint and finishes, Dan has always been the one to set the right attitude, and to encourage others to do likewise, as suggested in the sign above the entrance to the paint department office—"Attitude is Everything. Pick a Good One". Perhaps encourage isn’t quite the word, but it’s close enough. Fewer things are more important to the health of an organization than that. Thanks for that too Dan and congratulations on 20 years!
Oh, yeah, did you guess correctly which one is Dan in the old picture? He's the one in the center. No kidding. No, really he is.