Leader Volume 8, Number 7
Iím in my late
40ís and recently left a large company to join a small start-up
with 40 employees. The
only person who is older than I am is the company president.
This is the most exciting job Iíve ever had.
The opportunities are tremendous, the challenges are great,
and the level of creativity is higher than Iíve ever seen.
The problem Iím
now facing is one that I didnít even imagine when I took the
job. Most of my
colleagues have no children, and many arenít married.
I have a wife and three children.
Itís become a tradition (that is, a tradition over the
five-year life of the company) where most of the employees go to a
tavern after work and spend two to three hours continuing work
times they then migrate to a nearby restaurant, continuing the
alcohol-lightened banter really is useful to the company.
During these gatherings, we become less serious, and
sometimes come up with great ideas.
When the bar-group has a new idea that needs to be followed
up, they make informal assignments of who should do what.
While I love my
company and my job, I also love my family.
I would be cheating my wife and children by ďworkingĒ
ten to eleven hours each day.
And thatís without travel time.
If I donít attend the tavern meetings, I miss out on the
ďlatestĒ developments. In most instances, the group (not maliciously) would not
include me in the plum assignments.
Those present would volunteer for them.
this with my wife, and we came to an agreement where I would
attend just one of these tavern/dinner meetings each week. I also
discussed my predicament with my coworkers, who were very
decided that each evening, in rotation, one person was responsible
for summarizing what was discussed.
That person would, the next morning, post the summary on
the company email. In this way, I and anyone else who missed the meeting could
quickly catch up and still get involved (if we wished to)
implementing, or modifying, a new idea.
This has worked
very well. The fact
that my younger colleagues appreciated my situation has brought me
even closer to the company. You
can bet that Iím going to do everything I can to make this
company a huge success. It