Today, dear readers, you get a reflective one. Not much evidence except anecdotal, but lots of reflection to make up for it.
Honest, do you know a hugely successful person that also has a home life you would want to emulate?
I used to have such role models in the past (e.g. an MD with four kids), but as I move up the ranks myself, MDs become less of a role model, and CEOs more so. Also, upon closer inspection, those four kids were not all as well adjusted as their mum. And as far as managers go…I seem to be seeing more childless, single and divorced people than at other hierarchy levels. Or people with a lifelong distance relationship; one CEO sees her partner once a month and considers that a relationship. Another variant is living together ‘for the kids’ but dropping the wedding band and normal marital interactions between the spouses; until the kids are grown and a divorce is less painful.
What is this? Does a parents’ high powered career zap the life out of couple communication? Does a job encroach so much upon spare time that people end up married to their job? Or is my perception not representative?
And what about the children’s growth path? Again, if you look at the anecdotes, successful parents often raise less successful kids. Warren Buffett’s daughter runs a (daddy-financed?) philanthropy, and his son is a farmer. Not that there’s anything wrong with farming. And Paris Hilton…well. The Clintons and maybe Mitt Romney seem to be an exception. Bill Gates’ kids are too young to tell.
Readers, this is one for you. Please share your observations via the comment function.