February 23, 2006

News & Opinion: Chasing Daylight Part 4

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 9:50 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

I titled this part 3 because Jack has already written three posts on Chasing Daylight -- well, two and one review (post one, two and the review). This book is something out of the ordinary for a "business" book. It's not about how to change the bottom line or lower employee turnover. It's about something more important -- life. The life that can sometimes be superseded by the commitment to a career. It's about balancing your work life and the other part of your life (I never know what to call it -- your "real" life?). As Jack told you earlier, the author Gene O'Kelly detailed his last 100 days through this book. BusinessWeek recently did a passage from the book (registration required). It had one little gray box on the lower righthand corner of the two-page spread titled "Gene's Final Farewells". It explains that one of O'Kelly's dream of being able to "unwind" in his last days. To do so, he:
placed his many colleagues, friends and family in five concentric circles; those closest to him were in the innermost ring...Toward the end of his previous as a business leader he might have been 'too consumed by the outermost circle.' As he put it: ...'I realized that being able to count a thousand people in that fifth circle was not something to be proud of. It was something to be wary of.'
With all due respect, it reminds me of the "quality over quantity" saying. It definitely prompted me to question whether my inner circle was comprised of those with whom I spend the most time or not. And I wonder how many people feel the same as O'Kelly in where the majority of their people lie in their social circles.

About Dylan Schleicher

Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.