Our 246th Dad in the Limelight is author Gregory Slayton. I want to thank Gregory for being a part of this series. It has been great getting connected with him and now sharing him with all of you.
1) Tell me about yourself, (as well as how you are in the limelight for my readers knowledge)
My wife Marina and I have had the great pleasure of raising four wonderful kids…the eldest of whom really can’t be called kids anymore. Of all the things I’ve done in my life: Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist, cover of Time magazine, graduating with honors from Harvard Business School, being the US Chief of Mission to Bermuda for four years under two different Presidents…the greatest honor and the most fun has been being a Dad. Of course there have been very trying times; times of real challenge and difficulties. But so far, by God’s grace, we have weathered every storm, together. And we hope and pray that will always be true.
2) Tell me about your family
My wife Marina and I have been married for 22 years and we have 4 kids, Sasha (21), Christian (19), Daniel (17) and Nicky (almost 11). We enjoy traveling together, playing sports and just hanging out. We have learned together that family is a true treasure, one not to be taken for granted.
3) What has been the largest challenge you have had in being a father?
Growing up without much of a role model for a Father myself has posed a challenge for me to know how to be a good role model for my kids. Sons need someone to show them how to be a man, regardless of the society they come from; young men need role models to show them how to be men. This message of mentorship and leadership to young men is something I’ve had to learn so I could in turn teach my own kids.
4) What advice would you give to other fathers?
The fatherhood journey is like any other long important journey; you can’t make it on your own. I encourage fathers to have an “all-in” marriage. The kind of father you are to your children is going to be affected by what kind of a husband you are to your wife. Secondly I encourage fathers to partner with other dads for support and encouragement in the fatherhood journey. Also, like any skilled workman, a father needs a strong set of reliable tools to help him complete his job. These are the Ten Tools of Fatherhood (Outlined in my book: Be a Better Dad Today) and they are effective in every home in which they are put to work.
5) Seeing that you (or your position) are in the limelight, how have you come to balance parenthood and outside life?
We try to be very protective of our private life at all times, and like most people we are busy and we have to prioritize and sometimes say no to things that we would like to do. For example, I am asked to speak publicly a great deal, but most of those invitations I must turn down, even though I greatly enjoy public speaking.
6) What have you learned from the fathers that you have interacted with?
Many dads will agree that fatherhood can be a lot of work, but it can and also is a lot of fun. After all, we are on a journey of a lifetime (quite literally) with the people we most love in the whole world. Having fun with your family every day doesn’t take lots of money or hours of free time. It just takes a willingness to enjoy the simple pleasures of life together and to celebrate the big things together as well. It also takes a conscious decision to put your family first each and every day. Good dads everywhere will agree that this is true.
7) What else would you share regarding your experiences as a father thus far?
I’ve found that it’s not enough to acquire status and material things to pass on to my kids when I die. . . There is something much more important that we as fathers need to pass on to our children: a strong set of ethics and time-tested values, or what I call a “True Moral Compass.” This is the most important legacy we can ever give our kids. Choosing to value our families above our careers enriches society and builds a strong moral foundation in our children that will impact the future of our nation in significant way.
8) What have been the most memorable experiences that you have had thus far as a parent?
Raising four kids! My most memorable experiences always revolve around my family. Personal revelations from my wife and kids are my treasures, giving me a new level of understanding in their life. For example, we love to travel as a family, and whether we are visiting a historic location nearby, or a favorite chateau in France, traveling together is a great way to expand our collective understanding of our world, of history and also of each other.
If you have any questions for Gregory, please leave a comment here and I will make sure that he gets them so that he may be able to respond!