THE NEXT GENERATION
Anthony Teen’s thoughts on life as a father.
PASSING IT ON
Now, Teen’s sport of choice is skiing, which had steered him into mountain climbing in the first place. In his youth, he would scale mountains with skis strapped on his back for his ski fix. Evidently, he has passed this passion on to his family. He proudly whips out his phone to show off a video of one of his daughters executing a perfect backflip she had recently mastered. There are echoes of his tenacious approach to climbing in his parenting techniques. Last year, he enrolled his two oldest daughters into an elite ski academy located in the Sierra Nevada, California.
“I am keen to ensure that my children get adversity in their life, without being cruel to them,” he says. A key reason why he sent them to the ski academy, he says, is to stretch their capabilities. At this school, not only do they have to maintain their grades to continue their ski lessons, they are also given opportunities to exercise leadership skills, in preparation for their applications to top Ivy League universities in a few years’ time.
“They get pushed,” he says. “The end goal is that they build resilience. If you bring up a child wrapped in cotton wool, what’s going to happen the first time they run into a speed bump in life?”
As a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization ( YPO), he was a part of the family forum at the YPO Edge conference held in Singapore early this year. Teen jokes that he was roped in to join the international family council because of his six offspring. The parenting network consists of members from around the world who volunteer their time to run events, conference calls and even create virtual content to assist other parents within the network.
Ultimately, says the man who once stared death in the face while dangling precariously off the rock face of El Capitan, he would like instil in the next generation the conviction to, well, do what they love. “Desire will stay, while the chase after money just burns out,” he says.
“The only caveat is that it is going to be a bumpy road and you need to persevere and carry through, even if it sometimes looks like there’s no way out. Also, surround yourself with strong people. I wouldn’t have got off El Capitan without my partner.”
HIS BIGGEST FEAR
Is not physical perils. “We nearly lost the company a few years ago in a big commercial dispute involving a contract in Australia. They were doing everything they could not to pay us and being a familyowned, private company, all the assets we had were tied to the company. If we lost it, we would have lost everything. That terrified me.”
HIS AVOIDANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
“I find the idea of sharing stuff on Facebook retarded. My friends know what I do, I don’t need to put it on Facebook. I got on Instagram last year and my daughters told me I was too old to be on it. I just included my profile photo on Linkedin a few months ago; people, or governments, looking at the company want to know there’s a face to it.”
HIS FREEWHEELING STYLE
“My kids probably think that I am fun-loving, probably not a very good dad. My wife thinks I’m more like a grandfather than their father, as in I don’t want to do the parenting, just have the fun.”
“IF YOU BRING UP A CHILD WRAPPED IN COTTON WOOL, WHAT’ S GOING TO HAPPEN THE FIRST TIME THEY RUN INTO A SPEED BUMP IN LIFE?”