Like a lot of people I didn’t have much time for Gordon Brown. But I found myself thinking about him over the weekend; specifically, the speech he made as he left Downing Street.
Above all, I want to thank Sarah … I thank my sons, John and Fraser, for the love and joy they bring to our lives. And as I leave the second most important job I could ever hold, I cherish even more the first – as husband and father.
He got that one exactly right. As Malcolm might have said in a modern Macbeth, ‘nothing became his time as Prime Minister as the manner of leaving it.’
Why so reflective? Why was I thinking about Gordon Brown? Because at the weekend I stumbled across this article in the Economist: ‘The dad dividend.’
Its central premise is simple. Fathers who take even a short amount of paternity leave continue to be more involved as their children get older. As a result, their children do better.
Yes, TAB York is important. Every job I’ve ever had has been important. But as Gordon Brown would have pointed out, none of them have counted anywhere near as much as being a husband and a Dad.
As I see it I have two jobs as a Father: I need to love my children and I need to do everything I can to help them realise their full potential.
That’s why I started TAB York. That’s why – as I pushed my breakfast round the plate in Newport Pagnell service station and missed my boys – I knew I had to start my own business. (And that’s why I spent Tuesday fitting coaching meetings round a 70 mile round trip to take them to cricket camp…)
And then I came across a second article – this time in the Independent. Holland is one of the happiest countries in the world. Why? Because it’s one of the very few countries where they really have their Work/Life Balance balanced. 27% of Dutch men of working age and 77% of women spend less than 36 hours a week at work. The comparable figures for the UK are just over 10% and 40%. The Dutch also get more physical exercise than we do: they’re top of the European league table, with 53% of adults doing moderate physical exercise on four or more days. The UK is below halfway in the table.
Those two articles go right to the heart of what I do: right to the heart of who I am and what I believe. They’re the absolute focus of what I’m trying to do with TAB York and why I write this blog every week.
So it seems an appropriate time to make an announcement.
I’m going to write a book.
This blog is rapidly approaching its fifth birthday and 250th post. That’s somewhere around 150,000 words. Gradually, week by week, one small step at a time, I’ve already written a book.
Why not publish it?
So that’s the announcement. Around Easter next year – after I’ve planned it, re-written it, edited it and sold my soul promoting it, I’m going to publish my book. I haven’t quite decided on a title yet but the theme is simple. It’s the subject of this week’s post and everything I do: Work/Life Balance.
In a nutshell: How to build a successful business and make sure you never miss Sports Day.
I’m going to send some sample chapters out as they’re written. If you’d like to receive them just let me know and I’ll start making a list. Of course I’d like your feedback – and your thoughts on what should and shouldn’t be in there.
I’m hugely excited by this challenge – and slightly nervous. But there you are – it’s on the blog, so I’m committed. There’s no turning back…