Strong leaders

I just cannot pass on writing about this article I’ve just read… Are Strong Leaders coming back? (digiToday Mia-Riitta Kivinen / 06.09.2006 / 13:17)

A recent study by Talouslehti Business Week showed that Finnish executives push 60 hour weeks. Most executives who answered to the study did not place too much effect on balancing work and family.

Mia-Riitta scorns the original Talouselämä article: “Strong leaders are returning”. Mia-Riitta writes eloquently on the benefits of a balanced life and the need for executives to recharge. She claims that a balanced approach will lead to higher overall productivity and quality of life. Having pushed 60+ weeks and with 2-3 platinum airline memberships per year during a time in my life, I would have to say that she has a point.

What peaked my interest in this article however was remembering a comment that I heard through an acquaintance. When he questioned his US SVP of Sales about how he can come to the office at 10 a.m. and leave at 4 p.m. and still manage a virtually start-up sales organization, his answer was: “Because I know how to lead and get things done unlike… some of my Finnish colleagues.” That comment ended the discussion. Having some inside info I doubt that the statement was true, but remembering it in conjunction with today’s article made me question how productive can the last hours of a 12 hour work day really be?

Is having ADD and running is circles for 12 hours a day really a merit these days. Maybe some of that time should be used for quiet reflection. 


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