Thursday, May 4, 2017

The Antidote

The antidote to this horror story is to take care of yourself first and before taking care of your company, your boss, and your co-workers. Yes, I would even say that you have to take care of yourself before taking care of your family.
We heard this message about airlines:
"In case of an emergency, wear your oxygen mask first, then help the people around you."
Not a bad idea.

If you are a boss, you should encourage your team to take care of their own needs other than the needs of the company. Who will perform better and more fun to work with: team members who run ragged by working hard or people who are rested, refreshed and ready to go? As a boss, how can you give the team permission to take care of themselves?
The answer is clear and not difficult to implement, although it takes courage to apply conventional wisdom given the number of pride people (and teams and companies) working hard. If you are a middle manager in a big business, it can be difficult not to follow the party line. It's still worth doing.
Stories of billionaire founders such as Elon Musk (week work week 100) and Jack Dorsey (80+ workweek hours) do seemingly impossible through 1-2 strokes of sense and a deep work ethic does not help. It captures the myth that self-employment is ridiculous is a good thing (Note: I'm not saying that Elon or Jack works silly, I say that this is the most observed conclusion from what is reported about how they work).

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