Faith and Fatherhood: Q&A with Dr. Russell Clayton

In Search of Work-Life Balance by Russell Clayton PhD
Insights on faith and fatherhood

Russell Clayton is a business school professor who wrote a book on work-life balance. He’s a friend of mine. And most importantly, he is a devoted working dad, juggling away like the rest of us. His book, In Search of Work-Life Balance offers a faith-based perspective on leading a balanced life. I think it has lessons for us all, not just those who are religious. Russell was nice enough to talk to us about his book, faith and fatherhood.

Your unique contribution in this book is lending a faith-based perspective to work-family balance. Can you explain how a faith-based approach is beneficial, and how this perspective can also apply to those who are less religious?

The faith-based approach is certainly beneficial for those who are religious. It is easy to think that God should only play a part in certain roles we hold (e.g., we volunteer at a homeless shelter). But work and family life are two big areas in which God should have a presence for the religious person. For someone who is less religious, the faith-based perspective can still be applicable. In chapter 2, I discuss the idea of us becoming selfless in our marriage and parenting roles. This stems from God’s word in Philippians 2:3-4 which instructs us to regard others as more important than ourselves and to look out for others. Whether we are the most religious or least religious person out there, this wise counsel of being selfless should be taken to heart.

I’m a lapsed Catholic myself, but “To everything there is a season” always resonated with me as a great perspective for a balanced life. What other passages speak to you on this topic?

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Being a Present Parent: Q&A with Author Dr. Timothy Dukes

The Present Parent Handbook by Dr. Timothy Dukes
The Present Parent Handbook by Dr. Timothy Dukes

All of us want to connect with our children. With all the distractions from work and life, it can be hard to be a truly present parent. Dr. Timothy Dukes’ new book, The Present Parent Handbook, was written to help parents be more mindful in our interactions with our families. Tim was nice enough to answer a few questions for us. Enjoy!

I’ve heard the terms “quality time” and “quantity time” before, but before reading your book, had not considered the importance of “incidental time.” Can you briefly explain what you mean by incidental time and why it is so important for parents?

I am very fond of the reality of incidental time. I might define it as those moment that are not planned, they arise unexpectedly, and invite us into our child’s world or them into ours. Incidental is defined as “falling upon” or “happening to.” Incidental time fosters curiosity, serendipity, play, frolicking, resulting in a “felt-sense of knowing” by both the parent and the child. This “felt-sense” establishes the baseline of fundamental connection. Nothing is planned, duration is a secondary concern, and now in this moment, something unfolds between us that is abiding. Incidental time, holds context for life as is. Life that lives itself and in which, if we are present, we participate.

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Being a Successful Parentpreneur. Q&A with James Oliver

Parentpreneur James Oliver
Parentpreneur James Oliver

Through blogging, I’ve met so many friends, including today’s guest, James Oliver. James recently wrote a book about his experiences starting his own company while also being the at-home dad of two young children. His compelling personal story also contains great advice and encouragement for others who may want to become a parentpreneur.

Here’s a transcript of my Q&A with parentpreneur and author James Oliver about his book, his company WeMontage, and juggling entrepreneurship and parenthood.

  1. I love the title of your book: “The More You Hustle, The Luckier You Get: You CAN Be a Successful Parentpreneur.” Can you explain how this title inspires you and can help motivate us, too?

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Author Q&A with Clint Edwards on the Funny and Messy Sides of Fatherhood

I really enjoyed this book, and recommend it
I really enjoyed this book, and recommend it

Clint Edwards wrote This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things, a really funny, honest and insightful memoir about fatherhood. As one reviewer said, “It will make you laugh. It will make you think. It will make you cry. Sometimes all three at the same time.”

Clint is a great writer and I think all of us will see ourselves in some aspect of this book. Clint was nice enough to answer a few questions about his book and the advice he has for working dads.

Your book is really funny, can you share one funny story from This is Why We Can’t Have Nice Things?

Sure! Here is a list of stupid questions I received after having my third child and how I’d like to respond… If I wasn’t such a nice guy.

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Fatherhood and Empathy: Author Q&A with Torsten Klaus

Empathy and fatherhood. Torsten Klaus' very authentic and readable book of encouragement and advice.
Fatherhood and empathy. Torsten Klaus’ very authentic and readable book of encouragement and advice.

One of the cool things about publishing a book is that you get to become “book friends” with other authors in your field. A few weeks ago, Torsten Klaus and I exchanged books. I want to share some of the wisdom and perspective from his book, The Empathic Father, which I recommend. Here’s my Q&A with Torsten, focusing on his advice on fatherhood and empathy.

1. Your book covers a wide range of issues- birth plans, attachment parenting, sex after childbirth, child discipline, work-family balance, how couples argue, active listening, etc. The through-line is the importance of leading with empathy. Can you explain how empathy can influence how dads can handle such a wide range of parenting and marriage-related challenges?

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Author Q&A: Laura Vanderkam on Time Management

Time management expert Laura Vanderkan is the author of I Know How She Does It.
Time management expert Laura Vanderkam is the author of I Know How She Does It.

When I was doing research for a Harvard Business Review article on time management, I came across Laura Vanderkam’s work on the topic. She has since become one of my favorite authors. We corresponded on twitter, and it turns out that our most recent books were published on the very same day, just a few months ago.

Her book, “I Know How She Does It: How Successful Women Make the Most of Their Time,” is really great, and makes the case that many successful people are able to find enough time for both their careers and their family/personal lives. I wanted to share some of the wisdom from her book with you. Here’s my Q&A with best-selling author, Laura Vanderkam.

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Why I Support A Better Balance

I am proud to support A Better Balance by donating a portion of every sale of my book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide, to this amazing legal advocacy organization that is leading the charge for more family-supportive workplace and social policy.

I am proud to support A Better Balance
I am proud to support A Better Balance

I asked Dina Bakst and Phoebe Taubman of A Better Balance to write a short summary of their work and have posted it here. Please consider joining me in supporting their important work.

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Dr. Stewart Friedman on Leading the Life You Want, Bruce Springsteen and Getting Yourself Unstuck

Dr. Stewart Friedman discusses his latest book
Dr. Stewart Friedman discusses his latest book

 

Dr. Stewart Friedman is the Practice Professor of Management at the Wharton Business school, the Founding Director of the Leadership Program and the Director of the Work/Life Integration Project, and the author of several books on leadership and work-life integration, most recently the excellent “Leading the Life You Want: Skills for Integrating Work and Life.” As one of the most prominent men in the field of Work/Life Integration, he has long been one of my role models. In fact, getting to know him over the past few years has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my foray into social media.

Dr. Friedman was kind enough to speak with me about his latest book. In it, he profiles successful people in business (former Bain CEO Tom Tierney and Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg) public service (First Lady Michelle Obama and former Navy Seal and philanthropist Eric Greitens) and sports/entertainment (rock god Bruce Springsteen and US soccer champion Julie Foudy) as models for work-life success. He then leads the reader through assessments and exercises so they can apply those lessons to their own lives. Great stuff.

1. Since I’m a big fan, let’s start with the Boss. Can you discuss one important lesson we can learn from Bruce and apply to our own lives?

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