Sometimes you’ve got to pivot, then pivot again and after that, pivot a few more times. That’s a takeaway from the parenting and professional life of Anton Titov, our Lead Dad of the Week. Because however distinguished your career is, being fully engaged as a father may be the most intellectually engaging job of them all.
After finishing his medical training in Russia, Anton emigrated from St. Petersburg to New York where he got a Ph.D. in molecular and cell biology at Rockefeller University. Then he moved to Boston where he started a neurosurgery residency at Harvard Medical School and ended up adding an MBA from Harvard Business School. As they say in Boston, he’s wicked smart.
But when it comes to being a Lead Dad, Anton is completely self-taught. He was raised by his mother and an aunt. “I have never seen my biological father,” he said. “So, I wanted to play a role in my children’s life. It has to do with being human.”
He has three daughters. His oldest is at university and he took the lead in raising her after getting divorced in 2009. “I took her around the world with me,” he said. “She’s very independent.”
His youngest daughter is just over a year old and lives with him in Paris. He has as a daughter in between the two who is in Moscow, born to a Ukrainian woman, but he hasn’t been able to see her because of the war.
“My lesson would be you have to be flexible,” Anton said. “You can’t be rigid or overconfident. You have to adjust. You have to seek constant feedback and adjust and adjust to the character of the child.”
This M.D. Ph.D. MBA Dad is still learning like the rest of us – and he remains humble: “I don’t always get it right. That’s for sure. But nor does everyone else. You can’t be too soft, but you can’t be too hard. That’s my lesson.”
Welcome, Anton, to The Company of Dads!