How having a baby has made me a better CEO​

On July 29, 2013 my world completely changed. My wife and I were blessed to have our first child, Jude. He’s been my personal escort down this emotional roller-coaster of fear, excitement, anxiety, joy, frustration, and overwhelming love. Both of us discovering what it means to be alive. I’ve now survived accomplished 4 amazing months of fatherhood, allowing me time to reflect on my own personal development that has ultimately helped me become a better CEO.

1. Patience

Admittedly, I have the tendency to be a bit overzealous about details. I consider this a byproduct of my high level of expectations for myself and the people around me, but this can certainly lead to a level of impatience in how I have dealt with situations.

Baby Crying

As a new parent, my mindset has completely changed about the art and importance of patience. Whether it’s 3am and the baby won’t stop crying, on hold with the pediatrician, the dogs are fighting, and I’m getting the death stare from my wife - you really can’t help but just laugh and take it one step at a time. After all, we’re only human. Things won’t always go as planned, and that’s been the most important lesson that I’ve learned (so far).

I’ve carried this virtue with me into Designzillas helping me try to become more of a well-rounded leader and CEO. I believe in our company’s culture and my patience has allowed me to provide more positive recognition, maintain better customer service, communicate more clearly, solve problems faster, and be a more engaging and likable boss.

2. Be in the Present

As humans we all have the tendency to be thinking in two frames of mind: The Past and The Future. As a CEO, I am always future focused on new projects, milestones, and company / personal goals. It’s engrained in me to always be thinking three moves ahead, and to reflect on the past to learn from previous successes / failures.

Pumpkin patch

But is that any way to live and work? I’m here right now, surrounded by all of these incredible people sharing in moments together, and I’m thinking about what future accomplishments that I want to achieve. I’ve certainly given more appreciation for being in the ‘present’ each day to try and relish in my current surroundings.

After all, my son won’t be this age forever. Hell, I won’t be this age forever. There are no do-overs or remote controls to rewind time. I’ve realized the importance of needing to slow down and enjoy the present moments in front of me. Although I will always be goal oriented, I have made a concentrated effort to be in the present. As a CEO, this leads to more appreciation for our people, our work, and in what makes this company so special through the daily adventures we encounter together.

3. Purpose

​I’ve now spent many nights pondering the ageless question of what is my purpose in life? The reason that I’m here and given this incredible opportunity to lead my company and my household / family. My son has helped me answer this question by reminding me of my determination for making a difference in his life, to always love and support him, and to provide him with the same opportunities I was blessed with.

Jude Working

This has also supported me in realigning the company’s mission and purpose. To help inspire our team by helping them find out what’s important to them, what goals and aspirations they have for their life and career, and to collectively determine the core values of what our company stands for.

Being reminded of my purpose as a father and a leader has motivated me in setting goals to align with this mission. To appreciate being in the present and enjoying the moments shared with my team and family. To carry the virtue of patience with me everywhere knowing that every day will not always go as planned.


Being a new parent has allowed me to grow as a person and as a leader for my organization. Teaching me the importance of being more patient and understanding. Determining that being in the present moment allows me to enjoy life as it’s happening. Helping me find my purpose and allowing me to guide our company to realign ours. Every day I am realizing more and more about how having a baby is making me a better CEO.

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blog author


Johnny Hughes

The ferocious CEO and founder of Designzillas, Johnny is the dino-mite ringleader who helps make the company thrive.

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