10 Dads Say How Parenting Helps at Work
Responsibility, leadership and patience are among the qualities that carry over
For Father’s Day we checked in with dads around the world who work for Honeywell.
Here’s what they say about being a parent and what their kids think about their jobs.
Peter Fehl, president of Building Management Systems, Atlanta, GA
Children: Sophie, 12; Luke, 10; Estelle 5
What do your kids think you do? My children are very proud of the fact that [the business I work on] helps support positive climate change. They aren’t exactly sure what Honeywell does inside the building and I end up answering lots of questions about why we don’t build elevators and escalators. Being a large global business, I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over the world and my children enjoy keeping track of all the countries I have visited.
How does being a dad help at work? Being a dad has helped me see everything from a new perspective. I struggle like everyone to find the right balance between work and family, and I understand it's a challenge no matter where you are in the organization. A mentor of mine early in my career gave me some good advice. Whether you are at work or at home, be present. I try to lead my team in the same way.
Pavel Klang, research and development scientist, Czech Republic
Children: Anežka, 11; Markéta, 10; Timotej, 7; Marie, 6; Štěpánka, 2
What do your kids think you do? They know my work is related to planes. During one training, I found a nice simple sentence that describes my work at a high level – we are helping aircrafts fly safer, more efficiently and environmentally friendly.
How does being a dad help at work? The loudest children may not have the most urgent needs. And it is similar with my tasks at work.
Peter Lau, president of fire for buildings, Atlanta, GA
Children: Grace, 7; Graeme, 6; Faith, 2
What do your children think you do? “He goes to work, that’s his job. He does meetings instead of tests like us. Oh, and he always goes on an airplane to China, and India and London”
How does being a dad help at work? Being a dad keeps me grounded and allows me to always have perspective. Everything I do, I do for them...so during a long day, a long trip, a tough day, a great day, I look forward to my reward at the end the rainbow of seeing their happy faces yelling and running to the door yelling “DADDY” to welcome me home.
Nick Negro, vice president & CFO building products, Atlanta, GA (pictured above)
Children: Connor, 9; Cole, 9; Bella, 9
What do your children think you do? Makes financial plans for business and goes to meetings, makes phone calls, and answers emails; looks at the stock market and sees what’s good for the company and gives presentations; works with money and has lots of meetings; he makes the fire alarms that are in my school.”
How does being a dad help at work? Being a father gives me a sense of purpose, motivation and perspective in everything that I do every day. I think one of my key responsibilities as a father is to teach my kids by example a strong work ethic and to have integrity in everything you do. It is also important to me for my kids to be proud of what I do and the company I work for, and Honeywell checks all those boxes!
Swapnil Patil, engineering director of industrial safety, India
Children: Soham Patil, 8
What do your kids think you do? Soham loves visiting Honeywell office. He knows about the various products that we make. He knows that I work with engineers globally to develop products and solutions.
How does being a dad help at work? The safety equipment developed by Honeywell protects people at work and makes them work without worry so that they can go home safe.
Manish Kumar Sharma, vice president & CTO Building Products
Children: Chirag Sharma, 18; Shubhangi Sharma, 14
What do your kids think you do? They think that I am working on cool technology and leading a team for product development. Whenever they see the Honeywell name in security systems, scanners, thermostat, fire panels, airport, etc, they feel very proud and always show me.
How does being a dad help at work? They are my highest motivators. I still remember when my daughter was between 3 to 8 years old age, she would run and hug me as soon as I reached home, you can’t explain that feeling in words.
Sourabh Sharma senior engineer, UOP, India
Children: Anaaya, 1
What does your kid think you do? This is funny. At her age, I can just imagine what she is thinking. Maybe that her father is a joker who makes funny faces to make her happy; a pillow when she wants to sleep; a nurse when she falls sick or a driver when she wants to go out and so on!!!
How does being a dad help at work? One thing which has really changed for me is that I have become more responsible in everything I do. She is a bundle of joy to be around. It has reduced my stress levels which, ultimately, helps in being fully focused on my work.
Rui Tong, system engineer on aircraft lighting systems, China
Children: Journey, 7 “we hope she will enjoy her life as a journey” and Tongtong, 4
What do your children think you do? I told them what I do when they asked me. In their mind, my job is designing those lights on the aircraft.
How does being a dad help at work? Being a dad obviously increases the sense of responsibility. I found I pay more attention to safety and ‘kids-friendliness‘ after having my daughters, not only in my daily life, but also at work. I put more priorities on safety, accessibility, accident proofing, etc. in my product design and to make a safe and convenient world for all of us.
Norm Weiberg, vice president quality, Phoenix, AZ
Children: Carissa, 17; Isabella, 13
What do your children think you do? Help make and inspect airplane parts around the world; hire, train and coach people; meet with customers and suppliers about defects; design processes to manufacture parts and attend meetings all day.
How does being a dad help at work? Nothing compares to a parent’s responsibility. Being involved in helping shape a child’s life through teaching, mentoring and nurturing their interests is extremely rewarding and ranges from sporting, music and dancing activities to homework and STEM projects/events in school. All of this has taught me leadership, patience, appreciation for talent and creative diversity, which are all important in day to day work activities.
Gavin Xie, mechanical design engineer, China
Children: Tony, 7 and Amy, 2
What do your children think you do? I teach them something and play with them, they’re very happy with me and can get guidance from me.
How does being a dad help at work? As a dad, I am responsible for my children’s growth of body and knowledge. As a dad of two children, I feel more pressure, so I am more eager to be successful in work.