What a Lead Dad shows his children, not what he tells them to do, matters the most, says Steve Israel, a top financial adviser, father of four and former NFL player, on The Company of Dads’ podcast.
Israel had a high-flying career right out of college – he was picked 30th in the 1992 NFL draft by this year’s Super Bowl champs, the Los Angeles Rams, and went on to play 10 seasons in the league. As a cornerback, he said he got used to being put on the spot. “Life brings no huddle – you’re constantly in motion,” he said.
But he credits his parents and siblings with keeping him grounded as a star player and giving him a model for when he became a father, to three daughters and a son. Now a private banker in Charlotte, NC, Israel spends his days working with families on their own financial plan. He compares it to football. While there are a lot of players who are fast and strong, it’s the ones who are fast, strong and smart who make it to the pros. Likewise, there is any number of financial advisers who can dole out advice, but it’s the ones who understand the whole family who can provide advice that sticks.
Being a Lead Dad, Israel said, is no different than playing football. “It’s about your actions,” he said. “You can’t say, ‘Hey coach I can tackle him.’ Coach is going to say, ‘Oh really, show us.’ If you show you can do it, you’re going to be on the team and on the field. Being a dad is the same way. You have to show your kids what you’re all about.”
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