A lot of CEOs are true workaholics. More and more frequently, they are starting to understand that this is no way to live, as it also goes to the detriment of their family. For some, however, this realization has come too late. Luckily for Charles Phillips, Infor CEO, wife Karen told him exactly what types of expectations she had in terms of being married to him, and he seems to be one of those CEOs who has managed to get it right.
A Woman’s Issue
Traditionally, striking a work life balance was something only men had to deal with. In reality, however, their wives suffered from their excessive work as well. And today, there are many female executives, such as Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s Chief Operating Officer, and Indra Nooyi, PepsiCo’s CEO. While nobody would ask a male CEO how they manage work and personal life, it is a question that is asked daily of female executives. It is a shame that there still seems to be such a gender division in roles, with women expected to want to spend more time with their families, and men expected not to care.
Susan Wojcicki, the boss of YouTube and mother of five children, recently stated that she noticed men still don’t get asked about how they manage their work life. However, some are starting to take an interest, as, through various interviews, it has become clear that many male executives do very much care about spending time with their family. While many male figures still feel they are married to the job and that their wives take over the home and children, most also say they would like to see a difference in that. Male CEOs, it seems, miss their families and would like to change their ways. Interestingly, they also want to do this to set an example for the future generation of executives.
Children are only young for a very short period of time. CEOs like Marsh & McLennan Cos. Dan Glaser has frequently stated missing out on his children’s childhood. Advancing the corporate ladder meant missing sports games and back to school nights. Now, aged 55, he understands that he has missed most of the special moments. It wasn’t until the later years of this third daughter’s school years that he found a way to improve that. In the past, he would literally be working remotely whenever he wasn’t in the office, even during family time. This is something that he now avoids. Slowly but surely, he started to understand that certain professional things can wait, while certain personal things certainly can not.
Some, unfortunately, came to this realization too late. Steve Joyce, CEO of Choice Hotels International Inc, for instance, ended up going through a divorce because of it. Now in a new relationship, he is doing all he can to not repeat the mistakes of the past, actively taking an interest in spending time with his new partner and away from work.