On having children (…and how they improve your career)

Having children is not for everyone. I have several friends who have decided that it is not for them. And yes, they have found their life partner or their spouse, and they are very happy and fulfilled.

I recently hired someone to work on my team. He was so torn about the decision to become a father that he made a documentary about it (www.leapbeforeyoulook.com) – during the process it let him to the conclusion that he indeed did want children.

Years ago I wasn’t sure either if having children was for me. Perhaps it was a life stage thing, perhaps it was a partner thing, but in actually think it was neither. I just wasn’t there mentally. Couldn’t imagine what it would be like and probably did not understand/appreciate the ‘benefits’.

My wife and I have a 17 month old son.

As most parents (if not all) will agree: life without your child(ren) is unimaginable, they bring you the most joy, happiness, anxiety, emotion you will ever experience. They make you feel more alive than anything else we can do as humans.

Something not often (and for good sound reason) discussed around having children is how they make you a better professional.

Coaching seems to be the trend du jour in business. I’m sure they have their benefits. In my book though, a young child is the best coach there is.

They teach you patience (which is a trait without which we end up in trouble in business), they force you to focus (…), they foster commitment, and they remind you by the minute what matters in life and gives you balance and perspective like no book or seminar ever could.

Because of Theo I believe I am and will be more successful in my career than I would have been without him. Nice benefit in addition to having rediscovered what it means to be alive.


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