The Myth Of CEO Work-Life Balance

From Forbes authored by Amy Nelson:

“The New York Times, we need to talk.

I often read your column “My Workout” to learn tips on how other CEOs stay on top of their game. I’m always searching for advice from visionaries who are disrupting industries and making a difference, both in business and beyond. But as I read the latest column titled “How One Silicon Valley CEO Masters Work-Life Balance,” it became clear that the article was about so much more than Evernote CEO Chris O’Neill’s workout habits. This was something else.

The column begins, “It’s no surprise that Chris O’Neill . . . is pretty good with time management. Mr. O’Neill, 45, exercises regularly, sleeps seven hours a night, devotes Saturdays to his children and even gardens. Feel inadequate? Maybe you should stop reading.”

The article starts with a highlight of O’Neill’s workout routine and the details of the brands he loves, like the ultra-hip Allbirds shoes. Chris meditates early in the morning, waits for at least one of his two pre-teen children to awake before 6 am, and takes on the task of dropping off one child before heading to the country club to workout. We learn how Chris organizes his day into three neat and simple tasks. We also hear that he frequently misses dinner with the children, travels a lot, and attempts to keep Saturdays sacrosanct.

But what the article fails to address is a fundamental question that working parents everywhere must answer every day:  How does all this magic happen? Where are the children when you are at work (or the gym, or on the road, or sitting serenely in a meditative state on a pillow)?  As a working mom, this tension-filled question is at the center of every hour of every day. The New York Times doesn’t even mention it.  It’s almost like the paper wants us to suspend reality.”

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