A former CEO reflects on the imperfection of work-life balance.
When I was in my early days as CEO of Quest Diagnostics, working hard to turn around a then-troubled company, my daughter suffered a life-threatening illness. She was a freshman in college in a distant city. As any parent would, I rushed to her bedside. As I stood there, contemplating her uncertain future, I was seized with regret, thinking about my frequent absences during her young life. I talked with her frankly about those regrets. Though I was relieved to hear her say that she felt I had always been there for her, I never again took for granted that the conflicts of work and personal life would somehow just work themselves out.