Friday, April 1, 2011

Being There

Hamish McLennan recently stepped down as global chairman and chief executive of Young & Rubicam, a major advertising agency. He talked about why he stepped down in this piece from Bloomberg Businessweek.

One of the key lines from the piece is this: "My daughter is 13, and my son is 11... I don't want them to leave home and say, 'Well, you had a great career, but we don't know you.'"

To say the least, it takes a lot of guts just to realize this, and then it takes even more guts to actually take action on it by leaving a position that was surely earning him a lot of money.

However, McLennan is not alone in how he surely felt before making this brave decision. Research is now showing that fathers feel MORE work-family conflict than mothers do. And most companies still view work-family conflict as an issue they must resolve for women, not for men.

But there are efforts afoot, backed by a diverse set of organizations, to address how these issues deeply affect working fathers. Stay tuned for more on what NFI is doing in this area.

But for now, the best way to learn about this issue is to simply listen to the words of Mr. McLennan, who says at the end of the article, "At 44, I'd rather be known as a good father than a good CEO."

Wise words. In fact, it is probably a good exercise to say to yourself, "I'd rather be known as a good father than a good (fill in the blank)," because whatever you can fill in the blank with is probably less important than being a good dad.

1 comment:

  1. A bold and very admirable decision to leave a top executive role to spend more time with his children. Kudos to him and all who make similar choices and priorities. A similar decision I made to leave a high potential career role 10 months ago to spend more time with my 6 and 9 year old children has been pricelessly rewarding!


We welcome many points of view and great discussion. However, please be aware that comments go through an approval process. The blog administrators reserve the right to not post or delete any comments that are not appropriate (ie: comments with obscene, explicit, sexist, racist or otherwise derogatory language), impolite (ie: comments containing personal attacks, insults or threats), dishonest (ie: potentially libelous comments), or are spam. Thanks for understanding!