All companies talk about work life balance, but we all know it is a bit of an oxymoron. The company wants you to take the vacation and spend time with your family, but loves the guy who works 75 hours a week, will take that Saturday conference call and gives his life to the company (As evidenced by email activity at 1AM).
I don’t buy it. In fact – when I see someone working really really hard, all the time, I start to wonder about that person’s skill level. What are the compensating for?
Using the Success=15 model, if you do invest the time then the effective person begins building skill. If skill grows over the years to an 8 and the person is still putting in an 8 in time, then one of two things is going to happen:
1. They are going to be **wildly** successful and march up the corporate ranks (Or in the case of sales – make a ton of cash).
2. They are going to burn out and then time & skill plummet.
That being said, the top two alternatives do not represent the majority of cases. In my experience, the person who puts in that ‘8’ in time year in, year out is compensating for a skill level that has plateaued. That plateau in skill can be attributed to many things: not becoming a sales expert or good sales manager, not being able to prioritize work (i.e. spending countless hours doing unproductive work), etc.
So, be wary of the time investment. If you remain at the “8” level, ensure that you are on the path to **wild** success. Ensure that you do not need a reality check around the plateauing of skills (Questions to ask: Is this the right job? Am I doing the right things? Am I productive? What training do I need to get on the right track?) or that you are on the verge of burning out.
Shooting stars go from very bright to black in a shockingly short time.