Should your job ever take priority over your family? Ever?
Bill is a successful attorney, but he’d tell you it’s much more important to be a successful father. But he didn’t always think that.
Bill tells about his first job after graduating from business school, where he was assistant to the president of a Fortune 500 Company. That CEO is still a highly influential and powerful businessman.
It was a great opportunity to watch and learn from a very capable corporate leader. But what Bill remembers most about his boss had less to do with business and more to do with being a good father and husband.
One day, Bill sat in on a meeting where several top-level executives from a wide variety of companies came to meet with Bill’s boss. They went to the trouble to fly in their companies’ private jets because the company headquarters was out in a rural area and nowhere near any major airports.
That day, Bill sat in on the meeting with these nine or ten executives, soaking it all in. After several hours of meeting, his boss suddenly stood up and said, “Please excuse me, gentlemen, but I need to attend my son’s soccer game.”
As Bill says, “I will never forget the looks on the faces of the other executives as their jaws dropped to the table in disbelief.” But the message came through loud and clear for Bill: to this man, attending his ten-year-old’s soccer game was a top priority—even when business executives had traveled great distances at great expense to meet with him.
That modeling has had a profound impact on Bill’s own fathering. He says, “For the past 25 years, I have traveled great distances—and sometimes at great expense—to attend the sporting events, singing activities, and acting performances of each of my four children.”
Dad, maybe it’s literally impossible for you to be at every game and performance—your schedule and budget won’t allow it—but isn’t that something to shoot for? Beyond that, there are a wide variety of ways that you can show your kids you’re committed to them. Kids know when Dad is making an extra effort—and they feel cherished.
Show them that success at home comes before success at work.