While I was focused, motivating, articulate, and decisive at work, I was inconsiderate, preoccupied, self-centered, and lazy at home. – Scott Weiss, former CEO
For top organizational leaders, the temptation to work harder and longer seems obvious: without their efforts, the organization will flounder.
Since when did the workplace become the #1 focus?
Take a look at the last few decades, and increasing divorce rates and longer working hours may have some correlation. But what about the family who stays together but remains strained?
Former CEO Scott Weiss, who led a Silicon Valley startup through to its sale to powerhouse Cisco, looks back now and sees, “The shock of almost losing the relationship made me pay more attention, but I was only going through the motions with my mind still firmly attached to the business.”
One of the stated values at IronPort was “work/life balance,” but I clearly wasn’t living it.
Living it out or sticking it out?
Weiss says he was physically present but mentally absent while in his own home, and his wife noticed. The kids, I’m sure, noticed. But Weiss didn’t. Not for a long time.
I believe even the busiest CEOs must drive a carpool, pack a lunch, help with homework, make a breakfast or dinner, and consistently attend school events.
How can leaders of successful organizations manage a 60+ hour work week and be involved at home?
Perhaps because these “workaholic” work weeks are a myth? Sheryl Sandberg, Chief Operating Officer at Facebook, leaves work at 5:30 so she can be home for dinner with her family.
These priorities need to be praised, and they need to be respected in the workplace.
…long hours result in work that must be scrapped or redone. – Inc
Herein lies the myth of the 60- or 80-hour work week: more “on” time does not correlate to more productivity. In truth, according to Marriage and Family Wellness: Corporate America’s Business?, “Employees in failing relationships cost employers money.”
Distracted and worried by what is taking place at home, employees will have greatly reduced productivity. According to the study, these distractions can cost a company more than 20% of an employee’s salary in lost productivity.
How can we help? Start recognizing and celebrating involved dads (and moms!). Weiss’ change of heart led to a change in priorities and a change in how he spends his time at home now:
No matter how exhausted I am from traveling, I push myself to “not be lazy” at home—it’s just too important.
Your kids are important. Your wife is important. Dads, recognize what’s important in your world and celebrate them. Someone else will have your job, and someone has probably already had it. The only unique role you have in this world is to parent your kids.
Weiss is home for dinner and plays, cooks and schedules quality time with each of his kids and with his wife. Schedule it and make it happen. Weiss says,
There is a phrase—“truth in calendaring”—if something is important, then you must carve out time in your life to do it.
We’ve been “calendaring” time this week to talk about active, involved dads at home and in the workplace, so check back as we celebrate this season of fatherhood.