Recently, Wellpoint dismissed its CFO, David Colby. Wellpoint cites personal reasons. The LA Times tells us that it’s the numerous mistresses he was leading supposedly exclusive relationships with. The problem here is not that executives cheat on their wives. They do it all the time. What we can take from the Wellpoint dismissal is that big companies value discretion when it comes to cheating on a wife. Three at once, and they’re all talking – that’s too much for a board to take.

But here’s the bottom line from all this corporate discipline hoopla: Senior executives must lead their personal lives in accordance with the values of corporate boards. Their personal life is no longer their own, according to Shelly Lazarus, CEO of Ogilvy & Mather.

Thank goodness these boards do not value fathering, or else there would be no one to run the Fortune 500. Because there appears to be little room for parenting if you’re at the very top.

Fortune magazine ran an article about Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony. He is married with two children and is quoted as saying at company meeting, “I don’t see my family much. My family is you.”

Fortune ran a profile of Jeff Immelt, chief executive of GE. Immelt said that he has been working 100-hour weeks for the last twenty years. He also said that he is married and they have an eighteen year-old-daughter.

I can’t decide which is more pathetic – the way these men approach their role as a parent, or the way that Fortune magazine writes about it without any commentary.

How can there be no mention of the fact that these CEOs are neglecting their kids?

We have a double standard in our society: If you are poor and you abandon your kids you are a bad parent. But if you are rich and you abandon them to run a company, you are profiled in Fortune magazine.

I now quote a government publication aimed at low-income fathers:

“All children need emotional and financial support from both parents. The campaign goal is to convey…the importance of family life and to encourage fathers – whether married, divorced or single – to become involved in their children’s lives… Responsible fathers are men who actively share with the mother in providing physical, emotional and intellectual needs for their child.”

This standard applies to Stringer and Immelt. Just because they’re rich doesn’t mean their kids don’t need to see them. How is Stringer providing emotional support to his children when he is telling his employees that he has replaced his family with his employees? And I question how someone can spend 100 hours a week working and still find time to actively share in parenting responsibilities.

Fortunately, respect for this sort of parenting outside the board room is dwindling as baby boomers disappear from the parenting picture and Gen-Xers take their place. Sylvia Hewlett presents research to show that while baby boomers are willing to work extreme hours, younger people scoff at the idea of doing that for more than a year. And recent polls (via Hole in the Fence) show that men are sick of the long hours and want more time with their kids: Almost 40% of working dads would take a pay cut to spend more time with their kids.

It’ll be a great day when CEOs are dismissed for neglecting their kids. Meanwhile, employees, beware: CEOs like Stringer and Immelt have a negative effect on your own ability to keep your personal life intact, because work-life policy starts at the top and trickles down.

When you are looking for a company to work for, look at the CEO. If you find out he’s having sex with four different women, you don’t have to worry – he’s about to be fired. But if he works insane hours, you can bet that you will be expected to do the same, on some level. And my gosh, if he refers to you as his family, run!

59 replies
  1. Caitlin
    Caitlin says:

    “If you are poor and you abandon your kids you are a bad parent. But if you are rich and you abandon them to run a company, you are profiled in Fortune magazine.”

    And if you are rich and a woman and you abandon them to run a company, you’re a bad parent too.

  2. Terry
    Terry says:

    You have such a wonderful way of writing a hard hitting entry in a diplomatic way.

    I remember talking to an executive whom I worked full time with on a project. It was the first time he worked normal hours in many, many years. He said his biggest regret was not seeing his daughters grow up. I’ll never forget that because it had obviously affected him and was going to be very difficult to repair.

  3. P.S. Novack
    P.S. Novack says:

    I’m not sure why you would think that Gen-xers would be less likely than baby-boomers to sell themselves to the corporation. A forty percent cut in family income (as suggested in the Hole in the Fence Poll) would be very destructive to the identity of the family. At that point, the family itself would require the dad to get back to work or to work more; even if it means leaving home.

    * * * * *

    The statistic is not a forty percent cut in income but that forty percent of people would take a cut. And the idea is not about “selling oneself out” the idea is that Gen-Xers value their time more than their money and baby boomers value their money more than their time. This means that corporations can bribe baby boomers with money to give up their time, but Gen-Xers, on balance, cannot be bribed so easily. We have fifteen years of research, from a wide range of think tanks, to show this- most recently in a piece in the Harvard Business Review.

    -Penelope

  4. Leets
    Leets says:

    “We have a double standard in our society: If you are poor and you abandon your kids you are a bad parent. But if you are rich and you abandon them to run a company, you are profiled in Fortune magazine.”

    Amen. That is all.

  5. Amy Vachon
    Amy Vachon says:

    Hooray! You say it so well. Being married to one’s job is fine for a defined period of life – exhilarating, interesting, satisfying in its own way – but it is usually a false high. Expecting your employees to do this long term is robbing them of what really matters in life.

    I strongly believe that if both parents can stay employed in meaningful yet scaled back careers, they will be able to afford balanced lives and their kids will flourish. The less money you need to live, the less money you have to make and the more options you have to create the life you want. Sure, expensive kid-related activities are nice to have, but joy (for you and your kids) has a very different pricetag.

    * * * * * * *

    Well said, Amy. I really appreciate that you are so often the person putting forth solutions instead of problems.

    -Penelope

  6. laurence haughton
    laurence haughton says:

    I agree with your point completely…

    But, I don’t believe that anyone really “works” a one hundred hour work week, week in and week out. Has anyone actually followed these guys around recording every bit of “work” in each and every hour, for enough weeks to know this isn’t a wild exaggeration? Journalists are too willing to print whatever they are told by the spin machine.

    Dennis Kozlowski (former CEO of Tyco now in jail) “worked” 80 hours a week. It said so in the Wall Street Journal. Now we’ve all seen the toga parties that he called his business meetings on company expense reports.

    * * * * * *

    Ha ha. That’s an interesting point, Laurence. What counts an hour of work is an intresting question. Also, I wonder how many of those hours are really just hours avoiding doing either — work or parenting.

    -Penelope

  7. Rachel
    Rachel says:

    I think the trend away from workaholism is also apparent in those of us who aren’t parents. I’ve just spent five years in a blender of an ad agency that took its toll on my creative spirit, my outside interests, and even my physical health. Now I’ve seen the light and am heading for greener pastures, confident in my new realization that “it’s just not worth it!” Just yesterday, I found out that one of my fellow copywriters has come to the same conclusion. Hallelujah!

  8. Alice Bachini-Smith
    Alice Bachini-Smith says:

    Brilliant post, yet again. Someone needs to say these things.

    this tragic news article had me wondering. It seems to hint at a general awareness that super-stressful jobs might be bad for you:

    “Colleagues and friends of Mr Izaga have portrayed him as a family man, respected within his profession, who appeared to be coping with the pressures of his job.”

  9. Recruiting Animal
    Recruiting Animal says:

    A very well written article. And I’m sympathetic to your point of view.

    But I don’t think a low income person neglecting his child is the same as a rich man doing so. If you have a low income your wife probably works and you cant hire any good surrogates. You will also live in an area full other unsupervised young people and so your kid will end up hanging out with a bunch of hoods. We’ve got that situation in Toronto right now. A bunch of fatherless (Gen Y)punks are shooting up the city.

    Also, I don’t know how to put this a nice way. I don’t like the way you demonize the Boomers.

    Here’s what I think I’ve read. It’s great for Gen Y to have their helicopter parents negotiate for them. But it’s bad to let them help you with your career because they are so out of it.

    But today I see that we don’t have to worry about the parents being involved because they are too busy working anyway. I guess that’s why these same parents let their kids live at home so long. Because they’re never there.

    Ryan Healy is Gen Y. And you know what? I’ve never had the impression that he was unloved. A know it all, yes. But unloved, no.

    * * * * * *

    Fair criticism from one of my favorite critics. Demographically speaking, there are two versions of baby boomer parenting — those who had latchkey kids and the later boomers, who are helicopter parents today. I am actually very sensitive to this divide because as the oldest in my family, I was a latchkey kid, but my younger brother had the benefit of my mom quitting work and helicoptering all over his life. So I think about this all the time, and I could do a better job of describing the difference.

    Re criticizing boomers. There is a real problem in media right now because all the writers get paid by baby boomers, so it’s very hard for a writer to make a living and be able to criticize baby boomers. The media never had a problem criticizing gen x (slackers) and the media loves to write about the over-demanding gen-y. But you’d be hard-pressed to find a history of the media railing against baby boomers in the same fashion. So, if you get tired of hearing me complain about baby boomers, you can console yourself that you probably don’t hear it anywhere else.

    –Penelope

  10. P.S. Novack
    P.S. Novack says:

    Thanks for your correction of my misinterpreted statistics (above). I am, however, skeptical of any generation actually being more or less different from another.
    We baby-boomers were to be more spiritual and less materialistic than our Depression era parents. Without getting too personal in a public forum, I am making less money and spend more time at home with the kids. Though we are financially secure, I’ve noticed that my status of dad in the family is tied to my status in the world. Is this a regional thing, a cultural thing, a man thing? I believe it is a human thing and intergenerational.

  11. Chris Yeh
    Chris Yeh says:

    Penelope,

    As usual, you are one of the few people willing to call a spade a spade.

    I too am horrified by the glorification of the workaholic father. I actually wrote about this particular issue in one of my most popular posts:

    http://chrisyeh.blogspot.com/2006/06/can-global-business-leader-balance.html

    In it, I discuss the lives of hard-charging executives like Shai Agassi and Ray Lane. In Ray’s case, he’s even willing to admit that he wasn’t a good father to his first kids, but while he regrets it, he wouldn’t do things differently.

    There is hope–Harvard Business School’s Bill George told me that even while he was CEO of Medtronic (a Fortune 500 company), he still found time to coach his sons’ soccer teams. I’ve often repeated his words, and I’ll repeat them again here:

    “When my younger son graduated from high school, I felt very proud that I had never missed an important event in their lives due to business. Now at 30 and 27 1/2, my sons feel like very close friends: we talk over everything and have great times together. Both boys are very proud that I coached their soccer teams for a total of 13 years.

    At the end of the day, what is more important to you, your family or your money? One is a lasting legacy, the other just disappears when you die.

    You CAN have a successful career and a successful family life – you just have to work at balancing the two every day. More hours on the job do not make you a better executive or a better leader.”

  12. Mary
    Mary says:

    Oddly enough, you mention two close business “friends” of my boss in your blog. But he is the antithesis of the no-time-for-family CEOs. During my interviews with the firm, it was made very clear that a person’s personal life was as important as their work life. It was one of the main reasons I took the job — and this well before I had a family of my own. I think there is no doubt that attitude comes from the top, and it is important before you take a job to know the top boss’s values. It trickles throughout the whole organization.

    And this from two Baby Boomers (my boss and myself–I’m one of the last of the BBs.)

  13. Pirate Jo
    Pirate Jo says:

    “If you have a low income your wife probably works and you cant hire any good surrogates. You will also live in an area full other unsupervised young people and so your kid will end up hanging out with a bunch of hoods.”

    You know what? If this is your situation, you can’t afford kids and shouldn’t have any. You simply don’t have the money, so be responsible for crying out loud. Likewise, if you work 100 hours a week, you can’t afford kids either. You simply don’t have the time, so be responsible for crying out loud. Choices, people, CHOICES.

  14. Matt M
    Matt M says:

    Penelope,
    Fantastic post about workaholics. But another angle to the “100 hour” work week is the question of how much of that 100 hours is spent on work that should really be done by a subordinate or eliminated through technology or process improvement. In a former job I worked 80 hr weeks for short periods and 50-60 hour weeks for years and I can say that if we had adequate staffing, training, coordination and technology a big percentage of that time could have been avoided. At my former job I also dealt with CEO’s of some small and midsize companies and realized that it is not every CEO who does so whenever I heard about these kind of hours I instantly think less of the person’s organizational and managerial skills. If you can’t effectively delegate tasks, coordinate other people’s work, make priorities etc then how good of a manager are you?
    Also, after seeing my own work quality and other’s work quality after working long hours, there is no possible way that the person is producing exceptionally high quality work in that time period. You just get too tired, too fatigued to make good decisions and notice the right things.
    I would love to have you or someone with a management/organizational behavior background follow around one of these CEOs for a week or a month to see what they are actually doing in that time. I gurantee there is some work in there that could be delegate. Although, I guess if you have 4 mistresses contacting you during the work day and you meeting with them in between doing work that really eats up time.:)
    Keep up the great work,
    Matt

  15. Sophie
    Sophie says:

    I’m so glad you are writing about these issues, Penelope. Having working in both small companies and Fortune 500 ones, I’ve seen the skewed values of those at the top and those that aspire to that place. You are absolutely right; the attitude does trickle down. Like Rachel, I’ve been through a meat-grinder jobs or two, and I say “NEVER AGAIN.” I suppose it comes down to how one defines success.

  16. Steven
    Steven says:

    Penelope, were you going to be in San Fran on Thursday?
    Did that get canceled?

    * * * * *

    Oh, gosh. Yes. Postponed. I will get there eventually, though. It needs to be a little more organized, though. I hope people are not inconvenienced. I hope I learn a lesson here and get more organized about book tours for my next book. Thank you for asking, Steven.

    – P

  17. Marv Hubbard
    Marv Hubbard says:

    What a facinating post. I have been on the side of a worker trying to survive by working the 100 hour weeks. Somehow, at the critical time in my children’s lives I was able to change my job focus so that I could spend the time necessary for their development. Interestingly, I am reading a book by John Eldridge in which he talks about the problem with young people today is that they are be raised fatherless and have no validation to for the process of initiation that brings full adulthood. The answer seems to be somewhere in the word balance in one’s life rather than using all of the energy one area. I am not sure why we don’t see that and CEO’s don’t see that. If we don’t become conscious of our children’s needs in these area we will continue to raise children that grow up seeking connection.

  18. robert edward cenek
    robert edward cenek says:

    Great post!!

    Yes, we do tend to glorify the 100 hour per week employee – €“ and for those who do not have a family, this may be the best use of their time.

    It strikes me that the behavior you're describing is representative of a far deeper problem that's beset a number of our corporations – €“ an outright failure to operate according to the values, principles and moral compass that helped build this great nation. Examples of this systemic problem abound, but one good example can be found the in the recently exposed caper of stock option backdating.

    As of March 2007, 155 shareholder derivative lawsuits and 29 securities fraud class actions have been filed relating to allegedly improper stock option grants. An additional 140 companies are also currently under investigation by government agencies for options backdating practices. One can reasonably conclude that in most of those organizations doing "what's right" was less important that "doing what you can get by with."

    Since Enron and Tyco we've been treated to a steady parade of egregious, warped behavior in that goes beyond the examples of moral turpitude you've highlighted. While those persons engaged in that behavior made a personal, conscious decision to do so, I often wonder how much of it is influenced by a society that's increasingly losing its moral grounding.

    robert edward cenek

    Uncommon Commentary on the World of Work

  19. Alan
    Alan says:

    I think it’s only necessary for companies to consider their employee’s personal decisions and lifestyle. Since it’s their personality, there’s a chance that they will do it to the company as well.

  20. John
    John says:

    Hi Penelope,
    Great article as far as it goes.

    As a baby boomer in the corporate world complete with an MBA, I always valued my time, whether it was for raising my 3 kids (all of whom turned out great!), my wife or just to have time to myself. People who wear the number of hours on their sleeve like it’s a badge of honor are nuts. I’ve always felt our time on this planet is a final performance, not a dress rehearsal, so you better make the best of it doing what you want to do; you’ll never get another chance.

    Also, when we hear these corporate execs say they work soooooooo many hours don’t forget that when they go home their time off is theirs. They have housekeepers, maids, nannies, accountants, lawyers, gardners, cooks etc. etc. to take care of the daily “maintenance” things us mere mortals have to do ourselves.

  21. Fran
    Fran says:

    With the time CEOs spend in their work, it’s not surprising that most of them don’t have time for their family and will surely lose interest in spending time with their family.

  22. David
    David says:

    Interesting article, however, the wonderful thing about America is choice. Let’s spin this a different way. How different then, is it for an occupation like say, being in the Navy (whether officer or enlisted), where you have to deploy on a 9 month annual cruise, in order to perform your job tasks; or like my “adopted” son, a CPT in the Army, having to complete combat tours of 12 and 15 months (with only 12 months home time in between)? Now before you acknowledge my son’s service and that of our vets, my point being, is that everyone makes a career choice. These careers have requirements. According to the thesis of the article – that would define these men and women as “bad parents,” if for no other reason than the fact that they’re away from the home. I read the article more as being an indictment of corporate privilege, than one about “bad parenting” etc. Now the CEO with the illicit affairs is probably more indicative of a lack of a moral grounding (read: spend the first day of your week Worshiping your creator) than anything else. A corporate philosophy which drives home the idea of a coporate “moral balance” from the top is “Chick – Fil – A,” who do so quite nicely I might add. Their restaurants are not open on Sundays. So, I guess if their CEO works 100 hour weeks, it must be Monday – Saturday, only. As to Jeff Immelt, he was screened for his position of CEO of G.E. for over a decade, and is of the utmost integrity (unless he’s had some kind of secret ethical meltdown while at the summit of G.E.) of which the general public is unaware.

  23. Pirate Jo
    Pirate Jo says:

    “Yes, we do tend to glorify the 100 hour per week employee – €“ and for those who do not have a family, this may be the best use of their time.”

    Um, think again. Can you really not imagine anything worthwhile for a person to do besides work or have babies?

  24. Jessi
    Jessi says:

    It is a shame that these CEO’s and top executives can’t see the bigger picture….when you have a family you have to be part of the family.

    You can’t expect flowers to grow, if you don’t water them.

  25. robert edward cenek
    robert edward cenek says:

    “um, think again. Can you really not imagine anything worthwhile for a person to do besides work or have babies?”

    I’m not certain about one having a calling to have babies only, but I can think of a multitude of people who devote their entire life to their work, and for very altruistic reasons – e.g., the missionary who is working around the clock; the health care professional who is foresaking a high six-figure income in the U.S. to help those in 3rd world countries, etc.

    Yes, there are people in our world who are devoting most of their waking hours to helping others – and society in general. These individuals are the ones who deserve glorification.

    robert edward cenek, RODP

    Uncommon Commentary on the World of Work

  26. George
    George says:

    This is a great point.

    It is not easy to take the cut, but it is worth it. My wife and I were both management consultants (pre-kids). I did my million miles in my first seven years of working.

    Just before our first kid was born, we both changed jobs. I think we took a 30% hit to our top line. It was difficult, but the rewards are there. I love being in town with the kids.

    After trying working with different styles, I firmly believe that people with balance in their lives are better employees especially on anything that requires some creative analysis.

  27. MCW
    MCW says:

    Your post reminds me of an overall trend that’s got me worried: 1) increasing income disparity in the US, and, related — 2) the rewards on the job that encourage many C-levels to become ever-more-deeply buried in a workaholic lifestyle.

    Our current winner-take-all approach in the US allows a CEO to make bazillions of dollars, thus being able to afford a non-working spouse; children in the best private schools and colleges; multiple residences, no mortgages; armies of housekeepers, nannies, chauffeurs, etc.

    It’s the “let them eat cake” society. C-level people don’t have to be intentionally cruel — they just have to be clueless and out-of-touch with “regular income” people.

    Yeah, I’m a capitalist. And I don’t know what the answer is to this problem of income extremes (I don’t like income taxes any more than anybody else does).

    But I do think this a growing problem for companies today. Wealthy CEOs are becoming like Martians ruling over an employee Earthling population that they can’t relate to.

    Back to point 2) in my first paragraph — despite all the talk about how difficult and stressful these C-level jobs are — well, eh, not so much.

    Yeah, those are tough jobs — but most CEOs have been thru the pressure cooker to get to that level, and by that point in their careers, have developed coping strategies.

    Meanwhile, C-levels are surrounded by respectful (to their face) subordinates, assistants, staff, handlers, etc. CEOs get great expense accounts, special corp & health benefits, high compensation. C-levels are catered to at every turn. It takes a person of strong character to keep a clear perspective.

    So given the C-level environment of creature comforts and subordinate kow-towing — who *wouldn’t* want to spend as much time as possible in that environment?

    It sounds like more fun to be treated as a Master of the Universe, than it is to come home to deal with a spouse who may be grumpy, or a teenager who may be disrespectful or tempermental.

    No wonder many CEOs have “discovered” that their companies “need” them to spend 100+ hrs/week “working.”

  28. Mary Baum
    Mary Baum says:

    “Yeah, I'm a capitalist. And I don't know what the answer is to this problem of income extremes (I don't like income taxes any more than anybody else does).”

    I don’t think you have to — raising marginal tax rates won’t fix this.

    I see three things that will help a lot:

    1. Kick in an exemption from payroll taxes under about $35K at the low end. (And raise the cap at the high end to make up the revenue.)

    2. Fix the way we tax investment income.

    3. Stop rewarding companies with no-bid govt contracts for taking their headquarters offshore to avoid corporate taxes.

    Also, recognize that historically, we’re paying income taxes at half the (again, marginal) rate our parents did. Our income taxes are NOT too high and haven’t been since we’ve been old enough to take a legal drink.

    Anyway, if you’re interested, here’s the rationale:

    Point 1: Payroll taxes.

    We’re all, I think, devastated by the tax bite out of our first paycheck, in spite of the fact that it usually comes at a time in life when we owe ZERO income tax. It’s almost all payroll tax: Social Security and Medicare, plus income taxes withheld as if we were going to owe but we don’t, but at that point we don’t know we’re going to get a refund.

    That makes us very vulnerable to anti-tax messages at an impressionable, emotional age — but those are mostly about income taxes. A median-or-lower income voter, or a blended careerist, for that matter, doesn’t benefit from lower income taxes unless s/he pays them.

    But the CEOs’ political support has in the process coopted that powerful, painful experience that will get that person behind all sorts of nefarious schemes — all by promising lower taxes of a kind that will never come. Or, if it does, the tiny increase in the current paycheck will set that young person up for real tragedy in the years ahead.

    In the meantime, though, payroll taxes come off everyone’s first dollar. And the checks they fund go to everyone’s benefit checks — even a CEO’s mom. Now, how rich is that?

    Point 2. Investment income.

    Interest income and stock dividends carry a maximum tax rate of 15% — the same rate as the kid who bags your groceries.

    Now, CEOs aren’t stupid enough to have their packages paid out as salaries they’d have to pay taxes on — I’d be sure they have a lot of stuff labeled as interest and dividends (also, remember those loans everybody got in the Enron days?) so the most they’re paying is 15%. Probably also a whole lotta nothing.

    If we want to help companies get investors, we should make dividends deductible as business expenses. Not grant Susie and Biff a tax-free income for life for signing a certificate once a year.

    And no, Susie’s not going to make more loans because the tax rate on interest is 15%. She’s just going to buy more safe bonds and T-bills — i.e., sit on the money. That does NOT grow our technology sector or stimulate any other part of the economy. It contracts it.

    Point 3.

    I used to be a fiscal conservative. Then we bought a house, and I realized I was on welfare too, courtesy of the mortgage interest deduction.

    The amount of income redistribution, as my conservative friends like to call it, that goes from taxpayers to the housing and defense industries positively dwarfs the trickle that ever got through to poverty programs. As a prime beneficiary, I say: More Power To Them!

    But when a company moves to the Grand Caymans, or to Dubai in the case of Halliburton, and quits paying corporate income taxes, at the very least they should have to bid for their next government contracts, and they should have to actually deliver the services rendered at the prices billed.

    Or is that just for us small-business, independent-contractor patsies?

  29. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I actually worked for a CEO who was described in this article. He had three children who he abandoned for his career. When I had my son a year ago I decided to work part time from home and was frowned on for doing so. I no longer work for this man due to the conflicts we had in our family values. I agree 100%! Success should be measured not only on business success but how these men and women raisede their children. Let’s look and see if these CEO’s children are in therapy or have drug problems because they didn’t have a father in their life when they needed one???

    Thank you for sharing the article.

    Michelle

  30. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Just to clarify…The CEO I worked for was not specifically mentioned in this artical. What I meant was that we was like the CEO’s mentioned in this article.

  31. J
    J says:

    I’m going to present a different view.

    I don’t have aggregated, scientific data for the views below but….

    I don’t think parents need snuggle their kids for them to be successful.

    1) Pierre Trudeau (one of the most revered Canadian Prime Minister),
    2) Rupert Murdoch,
    3) Ted Turner,
    4) Chiang Ching Kwok (former Taiwan President, one of the most successful)

    All these men are recorded saying their fathers were incredible busy and spent little time with them.

    You don’t see them on drugs or failing in life.

    Just because their fathers bum around at home for 8 hours a day doesn’t make them good parents. Especially if parents have so little work to do they stick their nose in their kids lives in the name of “helping” their children.

    Whether these above people are “good” people or not (e.g. both Trudeau and Chiang were caught having extra marital affairs) is debatable, but they both grew into competent men whom made significant positive impacts in their careers.

    I see way too much “work life balance” as an excuse to be lazy. Just because someone is lazy and works only 40 hours doesn’t automatically make them an amazing parent.

    50% of marriage end in divorce. Only 1% of people make more than $150,000.

    Let’s even say EVERY upper class person gets divorced. You still have 49% of divorced being caused by those whom are not upper class.

    Just because you don’t work long hours, doesn’t mean you are a good parent.

    As for the Medtronics CEO, has it ever occurred maybe he is lying? A number of billionaires claimed they work under 50 hours. A certain computer company owner says he reads to his kids every night, how would his travel schedule permit that? He was at a conference in Europe in the afternoon……is his jet really THAT fast?

  32. J
    J says:

    Also, the Medtronics CEO, in his book he does mention you will have to make trade off between your work and family life.

    Little league games don’t take that long. You can still work 80 hours and attend your child’s sport games.

    I really doubt you can work 40 hours and make a huge mark in the world.

    • Annette
      Annette says:

      You don’t consider raising up the future generation a worthwhile means of making a mark in the world? Boy, am I glad that not everyone shares this opinion.

  33. Sbm2010
    Sbm2010 says:

    Oh, right.  Little league.  Yeah, going to Little League makes you a great parent.  Doesn’t take more than that.

    Seriously, most CEO’s, when they say they work 80 hours a week – they’re lying.

  34. Sbm2010
    Sbm2010 says:

    Another thing..when most CEOs claim they work 70-80 hours a week, they’re lying.  They did a study where instead of asking the CEOs how much they worked, they asked their secretaries..turned out it wasn’t much more than 40 hours a week.  I can personally the CEOs at my companys didn’t work much more than I did.  And don’t forget, much of their “work” involves chatting it up with clients over two-three hour lunches.

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