If you want to stay relevant, you have to continue learning throughout your life. Not only is there plenty to learn in the office, there is another place to learn about leadership, engagement, and growth. A place we call home. And that is where Meindert van Wensen comes in. This Dutch executive gave up his international career to become a Stay-At-Home-Dad, and decided to devote himself fully to parenthood. He initiated ‘MyDaddyTalks’ which is all about leadership at home. He recently started the successful podcast show ‘On the homefloor’ in which he talks with leaders and fathers about leadership at home. Fellow Digitals had a quick chat with Meindert, with a nice surprise at the end.
Being a parent is not easy. Raising kind, empowered, and happy kids is an art that follows no specific molds, but requires a life-long investment. And despite what it may seem, it is a school of life that often teaches us adults much more than we expected to learn. Parenting is the first and most basic field of action for leadership. And through parenting we learn many of the leadership basics that make the difference between success and failure, happiness and unhappiness, both in life and work.
Meindert: “For 14 years, I was busy making a career. I traveled the world and developed new businesses. As a young father, I even got an executive master’s degree in finance. Wherever I traveled in the world, I naturally engaged with children. It is in my DNA. It took an unexpected move to make me realize that children and their development are what drive me.”
Meindert: “In 2017, our family moved from Amsterdam to Lucerne, Switzerland. Our family, that is my wife, me, our four-year-old son Julius, and eight-month-old daughter Alexia. This meant a different culture, a new school and language, no friends or family to rely on, and a new job. A challenging and exciting family time was ahead.”
“This international career move was meant for my wife, not for me. Somewhat confused about my new role in the family, I decided to take a different approach to raising Julius and Alexia. It did not feel so appealing to me to continue the usual coercion, bribery, and punishment when I would be with my children 24/7. Soon I realized that my idea of parenting was outdated, negative, and bossy. So, I adopted a different style. In my transition as a father, I found that raising my children has more to do with leadership than what I imagined parenting to be.”
Meindert: “I like my new role as a the main caregiver and leader at home so much, that I now inspire other fathers to engage and truly connect with their children in all kinds of ways. My transformation journey was and still is extremely inspiring for myself, which is the main reason I am so eager to share it. That is how I came up with the idea of producing a podcast where I talk to dads about leadership at home, with your kids, your wife – on the home soil, so to speak.”
Every Friday afternoon from 3:00pm to 4:00pm Meindert talks to fathers about leadership at home. These conversations are recorded live and take place at Clubhouse. The following Wednesday, the conversation is published as a podcast. Check it out at www.mydaddytalks.com
Meindert: “Yes. As an online coach and trainer, I also make lots of videos now. Most recently a series of six videos where I talk about situations at work that correspond with similar situations at home. The situation at home is in the text and runs parallel to my story.”
Thanks Meindert for this quick chat and for sharing your 6 videos!