Josh Levs Is 'All In' And All About The Family
Joshua Levs (Josh) is an ‘all in’ kinda guy, both personally and professionally. He’s the team player who will always give one hundred percent and the crusader, when his actions are not met with equal heart and reason. Given his name was not Josh, I’d think it'd be David as no giant seems to intimidate him. He certainly has proven that statement time-and-time again but especially when he took on Time Warner in his fight for paid paternity leave. He won…and not just for himself but for countless others.
This knight-in-shining-armor, actively involved dad, and knowledgeable author captures his crusade and more in the incredibly enlightened book All In: How Our Work-First Culture Fails Dads, Families, and Businesses--And How We Can Fix It Together (HarperCollins). Progressive, thought provoking, and definitely the new bible for families striving to cope with “parenting and economics” as they exist and govern our daily lives, today, All In provides everything we need to begin our journey as a stronger, more family-oriented, intelligent nation without "throwing the baby out with the bath water.”
A proponent of mixing the best of old with the best of new in order to create the best relationship between ‘family and company’ our nation can provide, Josh Levs goes beyond his book to share further insights into the philosophy of being All In below. No doubt, you will want to take in all of what he says as the value goes well beyond a hundred percent, I assure you.
What is your personal mantra?
“Be the cup and ice,” which means always maximizing every opportunity. When you do this, life will hold hidden treasures for the taking, coupled by a tremendous amount of power. I came across this realization while watching a particular scene in “Friends” which featured Phoebe making the most of a, otherwise menial, task. So struck was I by this scene and the truth held withing that I incorporated both into a recent Ted Talk that I did.
You recently wrote a book titled “ALL In” which challenges stereotypical societal norms regarding moms' and dads' roles and obligations in parenting that continue through to today. Explain the “better” norm you have in your head.
It begins with understanding the reality of families today, of which society continues to overlook and deny. Families can no longer parent as they once did and be effective. The norm I see, and undertake, is one where moms and dads remain equally involved in the parenting process. The part of the norm that needs to change in this regard is “society” so that true equality and egalitarianism prevails. (See link for further explanation)
Give me an idea of what your household looks like today - kids, wife, work-life balance.
I am the sole provider. My wife is the full-time parent. We split the chores as well as the care required by our three children -- ages 9, 6, and 2. We’ve crafted a lifestyle that works for us and are living out a “fairness” that we believe in. Ultimately, I am an advocate for families “making their own choices on how they want to live.” I also believe that being a committed father is the manliest thing you can ever do in your life. That commitment (to me personally) includes helping shuttle my children to activities when the need arises and whatever else they need.
Some might say that "corporate America, along with our entire nation, is suffering at the hands of it’s own people’s constant demands for more “rights.” What say you?
It is the exact opposite. These backwards structures actually hinder businesses from flourishing, including large employee turnover and added costs. For instance, it is proven that businesses benefit when having onsite childcare because businesses do best when the best minds remain in the best jobs.
Share with us your personal definition of the word “Man.”
If you are a biological male and agree that you are a male, you are a man. There is no need to prove that you are a man. Feeling the need to doesn’t make sense. A good man is someone who takes good care of the people in his life.
Who is your personal hero and why?
Edward R. Murrow and Steven Spielberg are two of my “professional” heroes. Personally, there are many fantastic fathers who are not famous but have impacted my life tremendously, including Oren Miller. This remarkable man and father taught me so much about “fatherhood” and “life” throughout his fight and demise from cancer. Oren was the organizer of the Dad Bloggers Facebook page.
What is one question that you have never been asked that you have always wanted to answer?
"What can the news media do to fix the problems these backward structures are imposing on families?" Stop reporting and echoing lies about today’s fathers. The news media makes it seem as if men don’t want the changes ALL In discusses. That is simply "not true."
What is your next big crusade?
I am, currently, focused pretty ‘exclusively’ on the issues described in All In. That said, I definitely see future crusades on the horizon, including urging the media to do a better and more truthful job ‘journalistically.’
Do you support or are involved in a social cause or organization? Explain.
As a longtime network journalist, I was fairly restricted from lending my voice to specific causes. Now that I am free, I plan to enlarge my footprint in this regard.
When all is said and done, how do you want to be remembered?
By my family -- a loving person. Overall…as someone who tried to live well and fight the good fight.
I admire those who are willing to stand up to ‘fight the good fight’ for themselves and others. ‘Davids” and “Joshuas” are few and far between. It takes enormous courage to single yourself out as a crusader. Without them, however, this country would be non-existent.
There was a time when our nation was All In “together” and we liberated our country through it. We need to get back to that place again, so as to revisit that fight in a whole new, critical, and beneficial way. Today’s families deserve nothing less.
Many thanks to Josh Levs for making this interview possible