The ExecutiveTalent Revolt

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From a great article in Forbes:

It's a lesson corporate America needs to learn before an entire generation of senior talent melts down or decides to stay home. The 60-hour weeks once thought to be the path to glory are now practically considered part-time. Spouses, kids, friends, prayer, sleep—time for things critical to human flourishing is being squeezed by longer hours at the top. Says Bill George, a self-described 60-hour man who ran medical-device leader Medtronic for a decade and who now serves on the boards of Goldman Sachs, ExxonMobil, and Novartis: "It didn't use to be this intense. It got much worse starting 15 years ago, when we went to this 80-hour week." Top executives are increasingly strung out, he and others say. Service firms in consulting, law, and investment banking have built 80-hour weeks into their businesses. If it keeps up, the toll could make itself felt not only on companies but on the nation, eroding productivity growth in an era when global competition has never been more intense.

Indeed, dozens of interviews with top executives, consultants, and researchers suggest that a revolt of talent is brewing, and that it's time to reenergize the stale "work-life" debate by starting at the top.

What will it take to make headway on this agenda? Business leaders need to do four things. First, quit defining the desire for doable jobs as a "women's issue." Men want this too. Second, start viewing efforts to humanize senior jobs as a competitive advantage and business necessity, not as one-time accommodations for the CEOs' pets. Third, realize that progress is actually possible; there are examples to show that work at the top can be retooled. Finally, make it safe within companies and firms to talk about these things. "Businesses need to be 24/7," says Xerox CEO Anne Mulcahy. "Individuals don't."

Note:

Consider some facts. While every red-blooded American knows that the U.S. has the most productive economy in the world, the truth is that in 2002 it was actually less productive per hour worked than countries that are supposed to be slackers: Belgium, France, Germany, Norway, and the Netherlands. True, the U.S. had more output per person, but that's only because a bigger share of Americans worked, and many Americans work longer hours.

Read this remarkable article here >>

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This page contains a single entry by Christian Sarkar published on December 9, 2005 1:04 AM.

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