I have enjoyed sharing my thoughts with those of you who may have an interest. I have developed a love for writing and I enjoy this venue and the open arena for discussion and criticism.
I read, too. I have read many posts describing the “balance” of work and personal life. I believe that to be a valid and interesting discussion. In many of these, the authors discuss the need to balance various elements of life and project this “balance” as a key to success in business.
My background includes many years of management. Some of those were the management of turn-arounds of troubled companies with significant issues and universal failure. Always, the environment was one of excuses. Always the failing company was full of individuals with “balanced” lives.
When someone had to stay to complete a difficult task that required late night work those who chose to respect their obligation to the company did so as others left promptly for grade school soccer or a party or whatever. I was left with the few who chose to remain to pick up the pieces.
The eventuality, of course, was that I chose to surround myself with those who I knew I could rely on – no matter what. The person who I saw working all night so that our client was given what we promised as a company, or even what I promised for our company. These were, inevitably, those who rose to the top of the heap. I heard, so many times how unfair it was that I promoted X when Y had more experience, education, etc.
I did not promote those who were most capable. I promoted those who I could trust most deeply. A brilliant marketing man once told me “Scott, if it wasn’t for my friends, I would be a complete failure” He said this to me in answer to a compliment that I gave him. He always cared deeply for the experience of our clients, those who chose to trust us (and him). He made himself always available to them and he always was, indeed, their friend in every respect of the word.
I reflect on my own success and I readily admit that all success that I have found is the direct result of my trusting friends, men and women who knew that if they called me at midnight, I would be there before morning. People who knew that I would do anything to not let them down. People who I genuinely cared for, and who genuinely cared for me.
We serve as examples to our children. They have playmates. What they perceive as normal is what they see us doing. For myself, I would rather tell my beautiful daughter that I am sorry that I missed her recital and take the time to explain honor and obligation and the personal contract between business people when they put their trust in one another. It is a sacred thing and it is a great measure of the value of a man – if his word, or his contractual responsibility is subordinate to a soccer game, he is not the man who I would choose to handle my project.