I worked in corporate America for over 10 years and had the ability to speak to some of the pioneers in the industry. High level leaders such as former CEO of Wal-Mart, Lee Scott and current President and CEO of Wal-mart Stores US Bill Simon, to non-executives such as mayors, city council members and members of local Chambers of Commerce. All have taught me about the value of leadership and what is means to be successful in the world today. I will always cherish those one-on-one conversations and the knowledge they gave me. There was one thing missing from their conversations on leadership, how to be a stay-at-home dad. You see, all of the leaders I spoke to were the best in their respective field and all were still in the work place, still in corporate America. My challenge is to grasp their leadership and turn it into a new found passion, my family.
I decided to interview the most important leader among stay-at-home dads to help other contemplating leaving the corporate world. Having a laser light focus on the most important asset, your family takes honesty, integrity, patience, and humility. So I decided to take an introspective look at myself to assist others in their transition.
RB: Thank you for your time today. To get started, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I am a happily married father of four beautiful children. I grew up not having a lot, so I appreciated what life gave me. Throughout high school and college I worked various jobs, with no true career in mind until I applied at Wal-Mart. I worked my way up to a store manager and loved every ounce of what I did. Closer to the end, I began to lose my love for the company I once cherished. The reason is I lost myself in work and I didn’t know my family. The turning point was when I had an unexpected day off and my children didn’t care. That was it for me, so I left.
RB: So why now, why did you become a stay-at-home dad?
Why not? At the end of the day, what can I really say I gave back to society? I provided others with happiness by simply doing my job, but that is where is ended. I put more worth in my career than I did with time I spent with my family. I tell you, I have learned from my wife the challenges of being a stay at home parent, she did it for 13 years. I knew what was ahead of me and I decided to give back to her and my family. I have a vast knowledge business, responsibility, world events, and more. Now is the time to teach my children.
RB: Do you miss the corporate lifestyle?
At times I do, only when the kids are creating chaos. The interaction with 400 associates a day is different than interacting with just 5 throughout the day.
RB: What are 5 things you can give as advice to fathers thinking of leaving corporate America?
Patience, humility, humor, strength, and perseverance
RB: Any regrets?
Absolutely not. When I am able to see my daughter receive graduate from high school without fear of being called into work, I will know I chose the right path.
RB: Any final words or thoughts?
Being a stay-at-home father isn’t easy. If you learned how to lead in the corporate world, you will be successful at home.
RB: Thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and personal perspective of being a stay-at-home dad.
Read more about being a stay-at-home dad here: Guide for the 21st Century Stay-at-Home Dad.