"The executive work/life dilemma for women and men includes Steve Jobs' contributions while seriously ill - a provocative thought piece by the Glass Hammer."
Change leaders are culture leaders. The American leader work ethic for women and men is featured here, in controversy about growing leaders, both women and men. It's a long term, evolving change & leadership issue with shifting impact for both genders. ~ Deb
There’s increasing polarization on the subject of how to handle work-life’s ever-escalating challenges for women.
“Work-life balance is not some nice idea that isn’t achievable or important. It is important to all of us for sustainable mental and physical health & well-being. The key word is sustainable.”
The friction is visible in the varied media responses to news that incoming Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer will be the first female CEO to take the top spot while pregnant, and to Anne-Marie Slaughter’s controversial cover story for The Atlantic, Why Women Still Can’t Have It All.
Part of the dilemma revolves around a concept coined by Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s COO: “leaning in” versus “leaning back.”
Sandberg describes how failing to “lean in” inadvertently leads many women to leave the workforce:
- “Women almost never make one decision to leave the workforce,” said Sandberg. ...Maybe it’s the last year of med school when they say, I’ll take a slightly less interesting specialty because I’m going to want more balance one day. Maybe it’s the fifth year in a law firm when they say, I’m not even sure I should go for partner, because I know I’m going to want kids eventually. ...And from that moment, they start quietly leaning back. The problem is, often they don’t even realize it.”
- “During the last years of his life, [Steve Jobs] created the iPhone, the iPad, he was moving into television. ...He was very sick...in the last years of life when he didn’t have time.”
“Work-life balance is not some nice idea that isn’t achievable or important. It is important to all of us for sustainable mental and physical health and well-being. The key word is sustainable, ” says Teri Johnson.
She suggests the analogy a long distance runner versus a relay racer.
- “Any of us can push hard in a relay, but the distance runner knows to pace herself, to make rest days as important as training days and to take excellent care of herself to avoid injury. She saves the real push for the race, when it is important.”
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Photo credit: JD Hancock