BOSS BY DAY, FATHER ALWAYS
by Katriyn Ann
Hylton grew up a little further from Asia, South Africa to be exact. His parents got a divorce when he was young. He moved away with his mother and fortunately sometime later, she met someone new. That man became a father and best friend to little Hylton. He played provincial level rugby and cricket back in South Africa, which taught him that success does not come easy, practice makes perfect. “He was tough but he treated me like his own flesh and blood, which was all I ever wanted,” Hylton says.
As life gets busier every day and with the emergence of new technology absorbing the time and attention of children more and more, how do you ensure you spend quality (offline) time with your son?
Hylton explained that they love the outdoors! They live in an area with some great parks. "We’re usually walking, riding our bicycles and chasing bubbles!” (Doesn’t get any cuter than that, does it?)
In 2018, Hylton took the role of Chief Operating Officer at Les Mills Asia Pacific and never looked back. “Travelling all over the world has increased my time away from home but on the positive side, it forces me give a 101% attention to my family when I am at home. My daily routine starts with my workout at 5AM before Ethan wakes up, so I get a solid hour to play with him before I leave for work.” Hylton makes sure he switches off his phone when he gets home to give Ethan some father-son time before he goes to bed at 8PM. (Yes, we’re so jealous that he is able to fall asleep at that time too.)
Now, this is the most important question, ‘What’s the best thing about working at Les Mills Asia Pacific?’
Hylton has been immersed in the fitness industry for over 20 years and still loves every freaking minute of it. (It’s true, his whole face lit up like this 🤪)
“I just love being in a role where I am able to work with the most amazing, passionate and craziest people in the business.” – Hylton
Work-life balance 'increasingly stressful for fathers' – British Broadcasting Corporation, BBC, 2017
Is this true? What is your opinion on this?
“At Les Mills, we promote a healthy work-life balance (which unquestionably includes exercising as our core). Whenever, my co-workers or I feel stressed, we head on over to our studio and plug in a Virtual workout. This allows us to come back to work re-energized and focused! Try it!”
Hylton says it is very important to have a work-life balance. He tries to lead by example; “whether it’s making sure I leave the office on time or switching off my phone once I’m off work or on a holiday”. He believes you can achieve so much more with a fresher mind when you do get back to work. A fresh mind leads to better productivity. You don’t need longer hours, just better time management.
What are some of the lessons you would like to impart to your son when he grows up?
- Read, read and READ – always keep educating yourself, the learning never stops
- Anything you put your mind to, you can master. Mistakes are a part of life. Just make sure you get back up every time you fall.
- You’re only as good as the company you keep. Surround yourself with like-minded
In some countries, the laws aren’t so kind to working fathers. Hylton believes in terms of benefits given to the working father, Malaysia has a long way to go to catch up to countries like Australia. “One of the things that they can improve is making paternity leave compulsory for new dads so they are able to support their family during this critical time” say Hylton.
“You only have one chance at life, so make it count for a company that has the same values as yourself and respects you as a human being”
1. How do you say “I love you, dad” in your native language?
My native language is Afrikaans and you would say “ Pa, ek is lief vir jou!” Awwww
2. What’s your favorite 90’s jam?
3. What are some stereotypes about South Africa that aren’t true?
Mmmmm…….I can tell you what is true though. A South African’s diet consists of 95% meat and we can barbeque (we call it braai) for 5+ hours. For us a ‘braai’ is not so much about the food but more about the conversations next to the flames especially around the latest sport results.
4. One question you hate being asked..
“South Africa is such a beautiful country, why did you want to move to Malaysia?”
I would ask back, why not? Malaysia is a beautiful and amazing country filled with so much diversity and opportunities!
5. Describe yourself using 3 words..
Driven, Self-motivated and Impatient
6. What advice would you give your 13 year old self?
I was a naughty kid at 13 😈 Stop messing around and do your homework!