How many times do we have to hear fallen leaders say, “I’m stepping down so I can spend more time with my family. Lets be truthful, most of the time, they are being asked to leave or step down due to a scandal or failure to accomplish their established goals. But instead of saying, “I was hired and paid a boatload of money to do a job, which I tried, but could not do-so I’ve been asked to leave. And considering that I will still make more in stock options, investments, and benefits than most people on the planet, this seems reasonable. And by the way, I’m sorry I could not live up to expectations. But I’m going to get another chance and when I do, I intend to hit a homerun, thanks.”
There is no need to bring your family or kids into this. No one believes you really want to spend more time with your kids. More likely, people are wondering why you want us to believe you are some dedicated family man. It often sounds to me like these guys, and more often than not are men, are so ready to use their kids and familys to save their buts. But when business is booming and they are the toast of the town, do they care about their kids as much?
I know you are going to tell me they don’t have time. Everyone wants to be with their kids, but how are you supposed to do that and provide them the best money can buy. How about asking yourself: how do you make time for the healthclub? golf? business lunches? after dinner drinks? long days and nights of travel for work? I know its what pays the bills, and it leaves no time for anything else.But I don’t buy it.
First of all, whatever these guys have done, didn’t work for them or the business they were in wouldn’t have asked them to leave. So what about a different model. What if these guys spent 50 minutes a week with each kid doing something the kid suggests doing, instead of sending the kid to a shrink for once or twice a week treatment. That 50 minutes will add up over time, kind of like dollar cost averaging. Over time, it increases, and at some point, compound interest or in the case of kids, increased trust in you will kick in.
So I am asking for a new mantra. If you’re not spending time with your kids before you get fired, don’t try to evoke our understanding for your new found interest in them after you’re canned.