Work-Dad Success? Here’s some advice

How can we achieve work-dad success? My latest article, “12 Work-Life Balance Tips from a Working Dad” was just published in Success magazine. In it, I describe some research from Boston College’s New Dad studies and provide some advice for dads trying to juggle career success with being a great dad. Click here or on … Read more

A Lesson for Future Working Parents

Looking forward to a new semester at FDU, where I'll meet a new crop of future working parents
Looking forward to a new semester at FDU, where I’ll meet a new crop of future working parents (apologies for the dorkiness of this picture)

Here’s a lesson for future working parents, and for those of us already in the thick of juggling work and life.

As a business school professor and an advocate for work-family balance, I feel a certain obligation to not only teach my students what they need to be great business leaders, but also help them gain a perspective that will help them lead a balanced life.

My semester begins today, and I’d like to share an appropriate excerpt from my book, The Working Dad’s Survival Guide, in which I share some advice for my students, most of whom are future working parents:

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We Should All Have a Boss Like Joe Biden

Yesterday, a friend sent this to me on twitter:

I think this is tremendous, and sets a great example. The message for managers and bosses everywhere is simple: If Vice President Joe Biden can support the family lives of his employees, so can you. I mean, is his job any less important than yours?

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“I Am Not Unique”: On Being the Only Man at a Women’s Leadership Conference

My work-life panel at Mom-mentum
My work-life panel at Mom-mentum. I was honored to be the only man on the program that day

About two weeks ago, I was honored to appear as a panelist at Mom-Mentum’s annual Women’s Leadership Conference. It was a wonderful event filled with excellent speakers (especially the inspirational Debra Sandler), panels, workshops and networking opportunities.

I was the only man on the program, and I joked I was “there to represent the Y chromosome.” I served on a panel that discussed balancing family concerns with leadership ambitions. The discussion was great, in part due to the really interesting and revelatory questions asked by the moderator. The women on the panel and in the audience were very welcoming to me and to the work-family challenges faced by dads.

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12 Thoughts about Paul Ryan and Family

Paul Ryan and His Family
Paul Ryan and Family

Incoming Speaker of the House Paul Ryan articulated several demands before he would accept the position. Among them was his insistence that his new duties do not interfere with his time for family. Here are my thoughts on this intriguing news.

  • It is great news that Paul Ryan voiced his concerns that being promoted to Speaker of the House could represent a threat to his work life balance and his time with his family.

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4 Work-Family Stories From Fellow Dads

While Nick and I enjoy this summer day, four great writers discuss their work-family challenges.
While Nick and I enjoy this summer day, four great writers discuss their work-family challenges.

My favorite part of writing The Working Dad’s Survival Guide was speaking with a wide variety of dads about their lives, and then sharing their work-family stories.

Today, I’d like to share some of the excellent work of my fellow dad bloggers who recently wrote about how work-family balance plays out in their lives. These writers demonstrate that we all share the challenge of career success and involved fatherhood. Enjoy this round-up:

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My New Year’s Resolution: Better Work-Family Balance Through Goal-Setting (and a Handy-Dandy Fitness App)

Setting specific, measureable goals could be the key to better work and family balance. Here’s how

We are more likely to spend quality time with family if we set goals and plan ahead
We are more likely to spend quality time with family if we set goals and plan ahead

New Year’s Resolutions Stink

For the past few years, my New Year’s Resolution has been “To get in better shape.” Which, like most New Year’s resolutions, is a lousy, vague “do your best” style goal- these are largely ineffective. In fact, research shows that we are more likely to stick to and reach our goals when they are specific and measurable, when they are difficult enough to require sustained effort but are still realistically attainable, and when they have a deadline.

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The Challenges Faced by Working Dads in 2014: All In One Great Infographic!

From the White House and the Department of Labor: The Challenges Faced by Working Dads in 2014
From the White House and the Department of Labor: The Challenges Faced by Working Dads in 2014

 

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Why Don’t More Men Walk The Talk on Work-Family?

When surveyed, dads overwhelmingly say that they would prefer to share childcare and housework relatively equally with their spouses, and would prefer to use flexibility and parental leave to better balance work and family. However, the data show that while men have made significant progress on both fronts, our actions do not match our intentions–leaving us more “locked into” work and less involved at home than we’d like.

I was lucky that my  career, "paternity leave" experience and family dynamics were conducive to my being a very involved dad.
I was lucky that my career, employer flexibility and family dynamics were conducive to my being a very involved dad.

There are a few reasons for this mismatch. While corporate cultures and lack of societal support are major problems, it is also true that we sometimes get in our own way. Here’s a quick rundown of the barriers today’s dads face, including some advice on how we may be able to change our situations (future posts will dive more deeply into each topic).

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Three Dads, Three Work-Life Balance Stories

Believe it or not, I’m not the only one writing about fathers’ work-family concerns. Today, I’d like to share three really smart and well-written first-person accounts of work-family struggles by some of my fellow dad bloggers. Enjoy

I'm sharing some other dad's work-family stories today. I'll be back next week with news about/links to my recent media appearances.
Today, I’m sharing three work-family stories from some of my favorite writers. I’ll be back next week with news about/links to my recent media appearances.

“The Third Row” by Larry Bernstein, “Daddy Lives Work” by Aaron Yavelberg, and “Dads Don’t Want to Leave Home Either” by Alan Kerchinik. See below:

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Another CEO Chooses Fatherhood: PIMCO’s Mohamed El-Erian

When PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian was confronted by his daughter with a list of milestones and important family events he missed, he reconsidered his life and career goals and decided to step down. Here’s his story, and why it represents another indicator that work-family balance is a dads’ issue, too.

Former PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian prioritized family over career
Former PIMCO CEO Mohamed El-Erian prioritized family over career (creative commons: Flickr)

Hopefully, as companies give more attention to the importance of work-life balance, more and more people will be in a better position to decide and act more holistically on what’s important to them -Mohamed El-Erian

About a month ago, Max Schireson stepped down as CEO of booming internet database company MongoDB. CEOs step aside for a variety of reasons, but Schireson’s was noteworthy- he publicly declared his decision as one he made so he could be a more involved father, and he also used this opportunity to speak to the larger issue of the work-family challenges faced by dads. I reported on this story when it broke and also interviewed him for the Wall Street Journal about his reflections on the decision a few weeks afterwards.

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Leading By Example: EY’s CEO Mark Weinberger on Work and Family

At the recent White House Summit on Working Families, Ernst & Young’s CEO Mark Weinberger told an anecdote that, to me, represents our best hope that corporate leadership is finally recognizing the importance of work-family balance and will begin to sincerely address this issue.

EY's CEO Mark Weinberger (center) spoke about his personal work-family balance priorities at the White House Summit on Working Families
EY’s CEO Mark Weinberger (center) spoke about work-family balance at the White House Summit on Working Families

The White House Summit was a glitzy affair- The President, Vice President, the First Lady, Nancy Pelosi, Gloria Steinem, Robin Roberts and other bigwigs all spoke about the importance of supporting working families.

However, for me, one of the standouts of the Summit was the understated CEO of EY, Mark Weinberger. He spoke during the first panel discussion (along with Economist Claudia Goldin, entrepreneur Makini Howell, SEIU President Mary Kay Henry, and moderator Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic) about how supporting family is also good for business.

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