July 19, 2017 • 3 minute read • by Saeed
I recently came across an NYT article about CEO Don Mal of software firm Vena Solutions who asks new recruits if they would be willing to leave their family at Disneyland to do something that was really important for the company.
The punchline is that he has the expectation that they would say: Yes!!
Mr. Mal, who hires for I.Q. and for a ‘relentless pursuit of numbers,’ does not hire those that say, No. He reasons that those who would not abandon their families for their job do not have the right work ethic and provides an example of his own to illustrate the point.
The fetishization and idealization of a relentless work ethic is nothing new, especially for the Silicon Valley crowd. In our tech obsessed culture, the modern entrepreneur is lauded, hailed, and glamorized. They are the celebrity equivalent of the business world and pop culture celebrates their seemingly infinite powers to reshape our world and make everyone’s lives better (cue the sound of a needle record scratch).
This ideology has become so powerful, it’s had a strong downstream influence on other sectors. But is there a price to be paid for a work culture that not only celebrates burn-out efforts, but damn well requires it?
Research shows there is a direct correlation between a person’s level of happiness, success, financial prosperity, overall wellbeing and the quality of their primary relationships. Most people don’t realize that the quality of their relationships equals the quality of their life!
Psychiatrist Robert Waldinger, who directed a 75-year-old study on adult development has unprecedented access to data on true happiness and satisfaction and validates this finding.
Imagine for a moment lying on your deathbed. What will you be thinking about? I guarantee it will be your primary relationships, not the jobs you held. Did you bring joy to the lives of the people most important to you? Did your existence enrich theirs? Were you a good person? That, after all, is the meaning of life.
What would happen if you allocated more time to the renewal and regeneration of your relationships?
If you imagine your funeral and what your eulogy will consist of, surely it should not be about the time you left your family at the Magic Kingdom.
What do you think?
©2017 – All Content by Saeed H. Mirfattah, M.A.
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