Why being a better dad is more important than your job

In celebration of Fathers Day we wanted to tell you about Max Schireson.

Max was the CEO of the successful software company MongoDB, it was a demanding job but one that he was good at and that he loved,  he would regaurly commute from California to New York every few weeks clocking up over 300, 000 in the process.

This August he realised that his all consuming job meant his kids Jacob, 14, Isabel, 12 and Olivia, 9 were missing out on his time and he was missing out on theirs.  He had been away for vital family events such as his son’s emergency surgery and he decided to make a change. He relinquished his CEO role and took a step down within the company to spend more time with his family. Explains Max ‘Right now, I choose to spend more time with my family and am confident that I can continue to have a meaningful and rewarding work life while doing so.’

In Max’s blog post he draws attention to the inequality often felt by working parents, he says he never gets asked about how he balances work and family life, while his wife Deidre Lyell, who is a professor and researcher at Stanford School of Medicine often gets asked about how she handles being a working mother. ‘Overall I think that expectations of fathers are pathetically low he said, ‘If I spend an evening with my kids that say, ‘Oh, you’re babysitting tonight,' if I’m able to make it three hours without them starving to death, I’m supposed to deserve a medal, it doesn’t make sense.”

He acknowledges that he is in a secure financial position so that he can take a step down, something which many men are unable to do, but there is no denying that by leaving his job as CEO he is missing out on tens of millions in future earnings. But the gains can not be measured. ‘I think more time with my family will make me happier, what I look forward to the most is just being more engaged in the day to day of it, having more time with the kids, whether making dinner or talking to them or helping them with homework, it’s not just being there more, it’s also being more ‘there’.

We couldn’t agree more Max, and we applaud him for being so honest and courageous. 



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