When Serena Williams tells her husband he works harder than she does, it's not meant to be flattering.
As Alexis Ohanian, who wed the tennis star in 2017, acknowledged during an interview on CBS This Morning, "What she hit on the head was the fact that I had a kind of a warped view of the path to excellence and the path to greatness being a direct result of just pure work."
The Reddit co-founder, who has since launched the Seven Seven Six fund, reflected on the difference between how he and his other half handle the sensitive balance of work and life. "One thing that I'm still working on is balancing that with time off, with time away, with time to reset and recharge and something she's really good at is shutting it off and focusing on family time or personal time," he said. "I'm always a smart phone away from dipping back into a term sheet or dipping back into work."
"I certainly still get checked from time to time on that one," the mogul noted, "because it's something that I want to be my best. I think we all do."
While he's still honing that balance, Alexis is a proponent of paid family leave, including for dads. During the interview, he recalled taking his own full 12-week leave when their first child, Alexis Olympia Ohanian Jr., was born. "At the time," he said, "I wanted to set an example as a leader of my company and a leader in the tech industry, I wanted to role model the kind of behavior I wanted my employees to follow, especially men."
As a result of the time he got to spend with their youngster early on, especially while Serena recovered from a medically difficult birth, the first-time dad gained the confidence he needed in his new role. "I had never grown up around babies," he said. "Just getting that time, even the slightly loopy late-nights trying to calm her back to sleep were moments that I'm grateful I got to spend because I think they laid a foundation for me to know—Look, there's a lot of stuff you just learn on the fly as a parent and going through that period and having the time to just learn on the go and improvise and actually feel like it's going to work out gave me the confidence to know, no matter what, I can be there for her, I can figure it out, we'll get through it."
"I'm grateful for it," he added, "and every dad deserves it just like every mom."