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Thursday, February 16, 2017

Theo Epstein of the Cubs shares his 20 percent rule for getting ahead

If you do 90% of your boss’ work, he will like you even more.

Jim Furtado Posted: February 16, 2017 at 09:06 AM | 56 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: cubs, theo epstein

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   1. McCoy Posted: February 16, 2017 at 12:45 PM (#5402951)
No really earth shattering stuff here. Become valuable to your boss and you'll go far.

Addendum A: Don't back a loser.
   2. bfan Posted: February 16, 2017 at 02:13 PM (#5403065)
And those 70 hour work weeks meant a lot, too, in his ultimate success. It appears a smart guy worked hard and has thus been successful; funny how that combination seems to work.
   3. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 16, 2017 at 02:37 PM (#5403097)
It appears a smart guy worked hard and has thus been successful; funny how that combination seems to work.

Next you'll tell me that diet plus exercise is a good combination for losing weight.
   4. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 02:47 PM (#5403110)
And those 70 hour work weeks meant a lot, too, in his ultimate success.

But WTF wants to work 70 hours a week? If you told me I could double my salary by working 70 hours a week instead of my ~45, I'd tell you no thanks. Likewise for tripling and quadrupling my salary.

Pretty much everything good in life happens in that marginal 25 hours.

You'd have to be talking enough money where I could work 3 or 4 years and be set for life.
   5. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 16, 2017 at 02:56 PM (#5403124)
But WTF wants to work 70 hours a week?

Unfortunately, the people who rise to positions of power and set the expectations for the rest of us.
   6. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 02:58 PM (#5403127)
Unfortunately, the people who rise to positions of power and set the expectations for the rest of us.

Luckily, many industries don't expect this.

Also, they're idiots. If you're making 7 figures, take some time to enjoy life.

I I made $5M a year (or whatever Epstein makes) and was working 70 hours a week, I'd offer to take a pay cut to hire a $1M assistant and work 40.
   7. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 03:00 PM (#5403129)
It appears a smart guy worked hard and has thus been successful; funny how that combination seems to work.


A smart guy with an Ivy League degree and a wealthy background worked hard and has thus been successful. That's the combination that works in America.
   8. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 16, 2017 at 03:04 PM (#5403131)
A smart guy with an Ivy League degree and a wealthy background worked hard and has thus been successful. That's the combination that works in America.

It's an interesting definition of "success" too. In a zero sum game like baseball, nothing the executives do actually produces any net value to society or to MLB as a whole. The players provide entertainment with their skill, and better players are more entertaining.

Front office are a pure "arms race situation". The whole league has to finish at .500, and one team has to win the World Series. You could literally replace the entire front offices of all 30 teams with randomly selected HS drop outs, and the fans in aggregate would be just as happy, and MLB would make just as much money.
   9. Eddo Posted: February 16, 2017 at 04:03 PM (#5403226)
Front office are a pure "arms race situation". The whole league has to finish at .500, and one team has to win the World Series. You could literally replace the entire front offices of all 30 teams with randomly selected HS drop outs, and the fans in aggregate would be just as happy, and MLB would make just as much money.

Interesting, and I've never really thought of it from this angle.

I do suppose there is some level of overall incompetence that would wind up costing the league revenue(*), though it's probably pretty low.

(*) I say revenue, not money, because I think it's likely that dumber front offices would waste even more money on bad contracts.
   10. Drexl Spivey Posted: February 16, 2017 at 04:54 PM (#5403288)
.
   11. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:01 PM (#5403296)
Luckily, many industries don't expect this.

Also, they're idiots. If you're making 7 figures, take some time to enjoy life.

I I made $5M a year (or whatever Epstein makes) and was working 70 hours a week, I'd offer to take a pay cut to hire a $1M assistant and work 40.

Agreed. I'm not making anywhere near 7 figures, but I'd gladly take, say, a 10% pay cut for a 10% reduction in hours. Unfortunately, I'm in a business (law) where you can't even offer the firm that, because it's a pissing contest to see if you're dedicated and driven enough, yada yada yada.
   12. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:09 PM (#5403304)
I have some more cynical advice.

I just had a job for a few years where the CEO was a strange and strong personality. I very frequently thought that her ideas were terrible, and distractions from my job, so I dragged my feet or did the minimum as much as I could. I believed, and still believe, that I best served the company by doing this.

But it wasn't the best strategy for personal advancement. I should have leapt into those stupid projects with gusto.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:13 PM (#5403308)
Agreed. I'm not making anywhere near 7 figures, but I'd gladly take, say, a 10% pay cut for a 10% reduction in hours. Unfortunately, I'm in a business (law) where you can't even offer the firm that, because it's a pissing contest to see if you're dedicated and driven enough, yada yada yada.


One of my best friends has been totally miserable since taking a job at a white shoe law firm in NYC. At some point in the last couple years he realized that he didn't give a #### about making partner. That meant that he dialed it down from 75 hours to 60 hours, probably, and he's been mocked by peers at the firm for leaving at 8pm. He's still ####### miserable.

He also grew a beard as a sort of quiet act of mild rebellion. I think the beard makes him happy at least.

In my career people brag about working 80 hours a week in sweaty, stressful, physically demanding conditions. But by the age of 40 or even 35 every chef has either advanced to a less physically demanding supervisory role, or quit the industry, or developed a substance abuse problem.
   14. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:33 PM (#5403328)
One of my best friends has been totally miserable since taking a job at a white shoe law firm in NYC. At some point in the last couple years he realized that he didn't give a #### about making partner. That meant that he dialed it down from 75 hours to 60 hours, probably, and he's been mocked by peers at the firm for leaving at 8pm. He's still ####### miserable.

He also grew a beard as a sort of quiet act of mild rebellion. I think the beard makes him happy at least.

In my career people brag about working 80 hours a week in sweaty, stressful, physically demanding conditions. But by the age of 40 or even 35 every chef has either advanced to a less physically demanding supervisory role, or quit the industry, or developed a substance abuse problem.

I'm one of those folks who loves to cook at home and reads a lot about the professional cooking world, and it frequently leads me to wonder who has to work harder to convince themselves they're happy, lawyers or chefs/cooks. There's absolutely no way, in terms of skills or temperament, that I could ever succeed in that world, and I have a lot of respect for those who do, with the exception of the (far too many) who are abusive to their staff.
   15. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:44 PM (#5403343)
One good thing about cooking is that it's tangible and satisfying. You see the results of success right in front of you, you taste them and smell them, you see customers smiling and you see empty plates. It's a craft. There's definitely a value to that.
   16. T.J. Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:45 PM (#5403345)
I'm an attorney in a small town. I work with three other attorneys (largest firm in town) in general practice, primarily garden-variety criminal defense (assaults, thefts, DWIs, drugs, etc.), with some domestic, civil litigation, and appellate work thrown in. I don't make "lawyer money," but I'm comfortable, happily married with two kids, serve on the local city council, and work 35-50 hours a week. Lawyers can have regular lives if they stay away from the silk-stocking, ivory-tower, international-transactional, banks-and-insurance-companies law firms. But we won't get rich. And, although some might disagree with me since I'm a criminal defense attorney, I saved my soul from selling out to The Man!
   17. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:46 PM (#5403349)
Yeah, my buddy does mergers and acquisitions. He can't discuss his work without first apologizing for how boring it is.
   18. PreservedFish Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:49 PM (#5403352)
Also, chefs get to eat so much mayonnaise. It's fantastic. Aiolie, rouille, remoulade, ravigotte ... just endless mayonnaise possibilities.
   19. Zach Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:56 PM (#5403359)
Lawyers can have regular lives if they stay away from the silk-stocking, ivory-tower, international-transactional, banks-and-insurance-companies law firms.

Yeah, but if you take a bunch of competitive, Type A personalities that have always been in first place in everything they've tried, and tell them that first prize is that-a-way, they'll all run that-a-way. Actually wanting the prize doesn't enter into it.
   20. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: February 16, 2017 at 05:57 PM (#5403360)
It appears a smart guy worked hard and has thus been successful; funny how that combination seems to work.


No, most smart guys who work hard don't end up being "successful" in monetary terms.

A smart guy with an Ivy League degree and a wealthy background worked hard and has thus been successful. That's the combination that works in America.


Now you're on to something.
   21. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 16, 2017 at 06:28 PM (#5403374)
Also, chefs get to eat so much mayonnaise. It's fantastic. Aiolie, rouille, remoulade, ravigotte ... just endless mayonnaise possibilities.

Dude. Trigger warning please.
   22. jmp Posted: February 17, 2017 at 05:09 AM (#5403522)
No, most smart guys who work hard don't end up being "successful" in monetary terms.


What are you basing this on? And what does successful in monetary terms mean?
   23. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 08:38 AM (#5403557)
To a certain extent this is how I've been reasonably successful in my career. Found a great mentor, made myself indispensable to what he did, learned a lot along the way. I don't make 7 figures but I do ok, and now I'm in a position where I have my own guys who try to do the same for me.

I I made $5M a year (or whatever Epstein makes) and was working 70 hours a week, I'd offer to take a pay cut to hire a $1M assistant and work 40.

Of course, after a few years, if your assistant is willing to put in 70 hours a week, your firm may realize they can pay him/her $3m to do both of your jobs and they don't need you anymore. This is probably less true in other businesses, like law or banking, where there's room for multiple partners, and the junior guy can grow the revenue pot by bringing in his own clients.

But in my observation, the guys who still pound the pavement and work long hours long at the most senior levels do it because they like what they're doing and/or they're extremely competitive. It's not (just) about making an extra $1m, keeping their job or pleasing their boss -- it's about winning and being the best at what they do.
   24. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: February 17, 2017 at 08:41 AM (#5403559)
It's also because they define themselves in terms of their work and their success at it, and because they (and we as a society) continue to equate overwork with moral virtue. Both are pathological.
   25. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 08:51 AM (#5403570)
Of course, after a few years, if your assistant is willing to put in 70 hours a week, your firm may realize they can pay him/her $3m to do both of your jobs and they don't need you anymore. This is probably less true in other businesses, like law or banking, where there's room for multiple partners, and the junior guy can grow the revenue pot by bringing in his own clients.


Which is a stupid decision because 2 40-hour weeks from 2 bright people is worth way more than 1 80-hour week from someone of similar ability. You're just not producing the same quality of work in those extra hours. How could you be. You're tired, you're stressed. It's mostly face time and busy work at that point. I certainly wouldn't want to have anyone making a crucial decision at 10 PM in hour 60 of the work week.

But in my observation, the guys who still pound the pavement and work long hours long at the most senior levels do it because they like what they're doing and/or they're extremely competitive. It's not (just) about making an extra $1m, keeping their job or pleasing their boss -- it's about winning and being the best at what they do.

As [24] says, that's pathological. Senior executives really only need to worry about getting a relatively few big decisions right, and assembling and managing a quality team. Everything else can and should be delegated.
   26. Mellow Mouse, Benevolent Space Tyrant Posted: February 17, 2017 at 08:54 AM (#5403574)
But it wasn't the best strategy for personal advancement. I should have leapt into those stupid projects with gusto.


I am a consultant now and so avoid a fair amount of politics and basically do whatever I am told (if it is dumb I will give my professional opinion, in nice terms, but still do it), but back in my employee days one of my most valuable skills was being able to jump in with both feet and give the appearance of gusto. Email, meetings, presentations, you name it. You can do a ton to show your bosses how on board you are without doing any actual work on their projects at all really. The key is to be enthusiastic in the early stages, curry favor, and then get moved to a different project before the bills come due on the train wreck. Sure you have to sell your soul - there is a reason I am a consultant now - but it works well.

Similar is dealing with New Manager syndrome, where you have to ride out the enthusiasm of the new guy and the massive flurry of changes and micromanaging they often bring in their first few months in the big chair, while still doing your job.
   27. Ithaca2323 Posted: February 17, 2017 at 08:59 AM (#5403577)
When I was younger, I wanted to work in a college Sports Information office. Now that I'm married and with a daughter, I'm glad I don't. Working all those nights and weekends would just not work for me
   28. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:22 AM (#5403705)
But in my observation, the guys who still pound the pavement and work long hours long at the most senior levels do it because they like what they're doing and/or they're extremely competitive.


It's been my experience that most people who work like that, long after they need to do so to build their careers, do it because they don't want to be at home.
   29. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:32 AM (#5403720)
But WTF wants to work 70 hours a week?

I would be overjoyed to work 70 hours a week to run an MLB franchise.

But I refuse to work 70 hours a week to be marginally more successful in my current field.

   30. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:36 AM (#5403725)
I would be overjoyed to work 70 hours a week to run an MLB franchise.

I wouldn't (unless your definition is work 50 hours, and spend 20 hours watching the games on TV). Work just stops being any fun past a certain point.

If you're working 70 hours a week as GM, you're not even getting to watch a lot of the games.
   31. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:38 AM (#5403728)
I imagine those 70 hours include a lot of time watching the games. Attending games is part of the job.

   32. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:39 AM (#5403730)
I already work 40-45 and spend 20 hours a week studying/thinking about my APBA team. But I'm pathetic, so.
   33. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:43 AM (#5403736)
I I made $5M a year (or whatever Epstein makes) and was working 70 hours a week, I'd offer to take a pay cut to hire a $1M assistant and work 40.

I have a friend who works in investment banking. He's not at the top of the food chain, but he does very well (as in he has more money now in his late 30s than I'll ever see in my lifetime). There are people at his firm who have made $50-60M in a single year, working 4000+ hours in that year. They essentially never leave the office.

For people who wonder why that kind of person wouldn't just retire (since they obviously don't need more money), or cut back at work to make $10M/year and live a more normal life, he always says this: people who get to that place in their profession don't have the mindset of making less for working less. In other words, if you're the kind of person who thinks "if I had that kind of money, I'd cut way back or just retire", then you're probably not the kind of person who would have gotten to that job level in the first place.

If you asked Theo Epstein whether he'd take a $2M paycut to spend half as much time at the office, does anyone really think he would say yes (barring some personal family situation that required it)?
   34. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:49 AM (#5403746)
I would be overjoyed to work 70 hours a week to run an MLB franchise.

Isn't that the truth? I work 70 hours a week now, and it's just me at a desk with a bunch of monitors reading stuff and writing stuff. It sucks sometimes (OK, much of the time), but I imagine it would suck a lot less if that office was in Wrigley Field and that stuff I was reading/writing about was all Cubs-related. And on my breaks during half of the year, I could walk down the hallway out into a box and watch the game for awhile.

I would happily take 1/20th of what Theo gets paid to do that job, 70-hour weeks or not. Hell, find an empty office, stick a bed in there, and I'll live at Wrigley. I want return address labels that say 1060 West Addison.
   35. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:54 AM (#5403761)
I want return address labels that say 1060 West Addison.

Careful that the information doesn't get into SCMODS.
   36. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:58 AM (#5403767)
I would happily take 1/20th of what Theo gets paid to do that job, 70-hour weeks or not. Hell, find an empty office, stick a bed in there, and I'll live at Wrigley. I want return address labels that say 1060 West Addison.

You'd be happy with that for the first 6-12 mos. Once the novelty wore off, you'd want to get paid.
   37. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 17, 2017 at 12:03 PM (#5403777)
You'd be happy with that for the first 6-12 mos. Once the novelty wore off, you'd want to get paid.

I don't know. There's something to be said for having a job doing something that lines up with your interests. I've been a Cubs fan for 40 years. Yes, all jobs involve some level of drudgery, but making whatever 1/20th would be (about $150-200K) to be in that atmosphere and to get the stuff that would go with that job (clubhouse access, traveling on the team plane for road trips, spring training in Arizona every year, the upcoming multiple World Series rings, etc.) is more than enough to make me happy. Hell, being able to walk down to a concession stand during a game and pick up a ballpark hot dog and some nachos is something you're not going to get with most other jobs, but that's fabulous.

I think the fringe benefits of a job like that more than offset the hours and the work. For me, at least - I'm sure not everyone agrees.
   38. Man o' Schwar Posted: February 17, 2017 at 12:04 PM (#5403778)
Careful that the information doesn't get into SCMODS.

It's OK. I'm on a mission from God.
   39. Blastin Posted: February 17, 2017 at 02:03 PM (#5403884)
It's interesting seeing this discussion.

I just moved from frontline social service work (in education) where everyone was underpaid and overworked but The Mission! (Interesting that, because they sell The Mission and barely pay - and this was a well funded nonprofit, and even the top brass wasn't making a lot - pretty much every employee was a friendly white lady who came from money.) And I enjoyed certain parts of it, but it was a lot of time-consuming stuff that didn't fully engage my brain, unless I was actually in front of a classroom.

Now I'm in employee training (for the city), and there's a learning curve, but boy it works out my brain a lot more (because of the very specific technical stuff my department does). And I know I'd be miserable making twice the money but working 30 more hours a week.

Yet I tell my dad I'm happy now (and I got a huge pay increase, though nothing in the six figures at this point), and he says, great, you can go corporate next!

He's not going to be around forever, but I suspect some day he may yet realize that doing something you're not well-suited for (becoming a captain of industry like he's always wanted) is a very good way to ruin your life.

I am grateful things have worked out for me and know they don't for most, though.
   40. jmurph Posted: February 17, 2017 at 02:33 PM (#5403897)
I have a lot in common with Blastin's post in 39. But it's all complicated in my mind. Given choice and freedom and the right circumstances (the fortune of having a college degree or higher, no chronic medical costs or family members with disabilities, that kind of thing), it strikes me that it's mostly about trying to arrange the venn diagram to find the right intersection of: try to make the world a better place + I need to not hate how I spend my 8+ hours per day at work + despite what we like to say, money does actually buy happiness (in the form of things and experiences and comfort and leisure). My wife and I have mostly been able to find careers that are heavy on the first two and just heavy enough on the third thing to make it all work, but truthfully a lot of that, for me at least, was dumb luck and choices that felt random at the time that have coalesced into something coherent on my resume.

So while I personally agree with most of what snapper has been arguing in this thread, I recognize that for some people their balance is just tipped in a direction that seems weird to me, but makes perfect sense to them. My dad is a workaholic who mocks me for working so little and I'm like, uhhhh, I've been home watching my kids play in the yard for a couple hours and you're just leaving work and I'm the one being mocked? But he legitimately wouldn't know what to do with himself without projects to manage and sales to complete and crises to jump into and all the rest.

   41. DJS, the Digital Dandy Posted: February 17, 2017 at 02:41 PM (#5403904)
There are benefits and drawbacks to having your hobby/interests become your career. My job is terrific - I sleep until 10 AM, I write about baseball, I hang out in press boxes, walk around clubhouses, and get hot dogs wearing a fancy badge. But you do also lose things with integrating your career in your interests; even if you're not really working, you never really "check out" from the job. I'm never truly "away" from my job even on vacation and there's a great deal of overlap between my professional and personal lives. And the last 20 years have certainly changed my relationship with my favorite team in that while I still root for them, I don't truly live or die with how they do and don't have the same basic emotional attachment. What I get to do, between that and covering Esports, is worth the cost, but there is a real cost.
   42. Blastin Posted: February 17, 2017 at 03:07 PM (#5403925)
try to make the world a better place + I need to not hate how I spend my 8+ hours per day at work + despite what we like to say, money does actually buy happiness (in the form of things and experiences and comfort and leisure). My wife and I have mostly been able to find careers that are heavy on the first two and just heavy enough on the third thing to make it all work, but truthfully a lot of that, for me at least, was dumb luck and choices that felt random at the time that have coalesced into something coherent on my resume.

So while I personally agree with most of what snapper has been arguing in this thread, I recognize that for some people their balance is just tipped in a direction that seems weird to me, but makes perfect sense to them. My dad is a workaholic who mocks me for working so little and I'm like, uhhhh, I've been home watching my kids play in the yard for a couple hours and you're just leaving work and I'm the one being mocked? But he legitimately wouldn't know what to do with himself without projects to manage and sales to complete and crises to jump into and all the rest.


Yeah. Like, I could probably work from 8 am to 9 pm. I have the energy. But then I couldn't train for and run my races. And then I couldn't do all the little stuff I like that excites me. And going to an "elite" college like I did, my classmates all work craaaay hours in their 20s and then scale way back in their 30s. But the people who LOVE waking up and making a deal and raking in that cash, that's who they are. It's who my dad is, at 72. He's going to burn himself out one of these days, but I said that ten years ago.

I always wonder why people like President 45 never retire with all of that money they have. They had to force Sumner Redstone to retire last year at age 6,000. I think I'll always keep busy by teaching on and off or mentoring when I'm aged, but, beyond the point of being able to do what I want (and for this, plenty of money is required, but not f you money), I just don't care about it.

My wife would retire tomorrow if she could. I took a week off work before our honeymoon and I lost my mind. So I think people see my insane energy and think I should be out there wolfofwallstreeting, but my energy is only unlimited when geared towards what I consider meaningful and interesting.

(This is very very privileged to be able to say, though. If I had a kid and a sick mother I'd have taken whatever supported them. But I don't, so.)
   43. McCoy Posted: February 17, 2017 at 03:17 PM (#5403940)
In my younger days working all day was just part of your life. Wake up around noon, watch some Hogan's Heroes and Cosby Show then roll into work around 1 or 2, work until 11pm or 12am and then go out until 3 or 4 at night. That was your day. But now? I have no desire for a 10 hour work day and try to avoid it as much as possible. I generally work between 40 to 45 hours a week now but have about 2 hours of commuting each day. I find the 10 hour work day to be completely unnecessary and is simply a way for a company to think they're getting a deal on salaried employees. Virtually no salaried employee that I know has ever worked all of that 10 hours or anything close to it. It just gets to the point where you are their because they need a body present to say a body is present.
   44. jmurph Posted: February 17, 2017 at 03:22 PM (#5403948)
I do at times find myself judging, say, the person I know making ~250K in corporate patent law instead of dialing that back to merely 150K to actually put her brilliance to use doing something important, but I realize that's judge-y and I'm moralizing and she finds it interesting and, as discussed, you gotta like what you do.
   45. Blastin Posted: February 17, 2017 at 03:38 PM (#5403963)
I do at times find myself judging, say, the person I know making ~250K in corporate patent law instead of dialing that back to merely 150K to actually put her brilliance to use doing something important, but I realize that's judge-y and I'm moralizing and she finds it interesting and, as discussed, you gotta like what you do.


Yeah I had a solid half-decade where I thought I was so noble for not making as much as my classmates doing "useless" stuff (and I still think i-banking is kinda gross) but... they do well at it because it works for them and they'd probably not do nearly as well nor be nearly as happy doing the things that make me happy. (Or maybe they're unhappy but who knows.)
   46. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 03:56 PM (#5403981)
I always wonder why people like President 45 never retire with all of that money they have. They had to force Sumner Redstone to retire last year at age 6,000.

Well, as a CEO/owner you're really not "working" in a conventional sense. You don't have anyone telling you what to do or giving you deadlines. You come and go as you please.

If I owned a company, I could see working effectively forever, because what you're really doing is hanging out and making decisions.
   47. Blastin Posted: February 17, 2017 at 04:01 PM (#5403987)
That's true. I do like making decisions. I could see how that would be addictive.
   48. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 04:07 PM (#5403995)
That's true. I do like making decisions. I could see how that would be addictive.

No to mention having hundreds and thousands of people to boss around. That's probably addictive too.
   49. Blastin Posted: February 17, 2017 at 04:34 PM (#5404016)
Yeah. Though it depends on the people. Sometimes managing staff is unpleasant as hell. But if you're that powerful you can handpick your sycophants.


Anyway, getting hooked on that sweet, sweet power is a good reason I've avoided it. I prefer the much softer power of the classroom. Heh.
   50. Walt Davis Posted: February 17, 2017 at 04:46 PM (#5404020)
Back when I started grad school, the manager of the research support service where I made my pittance was a guy all of us newer grad students looked down on. He'd taken 10 years to finish his dissertation, was stuck at the same school he'd gotten his degree, in a non-faculty position, etc. But as time went on and some of us got stuck in our own PhD treadmills and got to see more of the "successful" faculty lives ... well, there was a guy making pretty good money in a secure job, he was perfectly good at his job, he was a friendly guy, he worked 40 hours a week, he had an intact marriage with a nice son who seemed to like his dad, a nice place in the country (back when that was a lot more affordable) with a couple of horses. He was happy as could be. We started to admire that a lot more.

Anyway, there was a point in my life where I decided that work was what I had to do to have the money to do some things I truly enjoy with my down time ... and there's no point in that if you don't have any down time. I've always enjoyed my work, occasionally become obsessed with my work, am pretty good at my work but still my life's not about work.

I have had the good fortune to frequently work for, occasionally with or occasionally alongside some very successful people. In that downtime, I also got to know some highly successful musicians (not in a monetary sense). Put me down on the "obsessive" theory -- these folks simply work all the time due to some combination of loving it, being competitive or simply having gotten to a point where it's all they know how to do. One boss only took "vacations" because his wife forced him to ... and even so, all she could force him to do on vacation was to limit his work time to the mornings. Busted marriages and estranged kids were pretty common.

MoS -- don't be so sure. I've seen many people take on a job "doing something they love" only for it to turn into a ... job and the thing they loved became "work" not "fun."
   51. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: February 17, 2017 at 04:50 PM (#5404021)
Yeah. Though it depends on the people. Sometimes managing staff is unpleasant as hell. But if you're that powerful you can handpick your sycophants.

That's the thing. If you're a CEO, pretty much everyone you manage is smart, industrious, highly motivated, and highly paid. Makes managing a lot more fun.
   52. Hysterical & Useless Posted: February 17, 2017 at 05:25 PM (#5404055)
Great discussion here. A lot of good insights and observations. I am definitely in the "only work in order to live" camp, and have been EXTREMELY lucky in the way things have turned out. Got to be a stay-at-home father (which was hard work but absolutely the best job I ever had), never had a "career" job until I was in my 50s, but because my wife & I were frugal (and, let me stress again, LUCKY), we were able to put aside enough that we should be okay financially for the duration. And if we're not, well, we're still young enough to work if need be (fingers crossed that the opportunity is there if the need ever arises).
   53. Howie Menckel Posted: February 17, 2017 at 10:00 PM (#5404175)
very interesting discussion.

I once worked on 44 consecutive days more than 20 years ago, the majority of them on the road and half of them at night. high intensity, high pressure. dream job but without quite the rock star pay. still a good gig. I got most of the days back in comp time that summer.

bottom line, we see, is axis of enjoyment in the job vs how much it pays. wait, other variables so now it's too complicated for me.
:)

fyi, I never got an audiobook before but am really enjoying the new Springsteen one. an amazing amount of the book is on just these topics. about the love of work and why he needs it so (he spent decades doing 3-hour kickass live shows and on his tour last year he kept hitting 4 hours - at age 67). worth it, even if you're not a fan, for about growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in a Italian/Irish working class family and how that shaped him. he's not always kind to himself, and he seems realistic about that family.
   54. McCoy Posted: February 17, 2017 at 10:37 PM (#5404183)

That's the thing. If you're a CEO, pretty much everyone you manage is smart, industrious, highly motivated, and highly paid. Makes managing a lot more fun.


This is some severe rose colored glasses. Executive teams and boards can be and often are full of idiots who don't know jack about how their company works and how the world works. A huge chunk of them are completely interchangeable with a broomstick.
   55. cardsfanboy Posted: February 17, 2017 at 11:05 PM (#5404190)
I don't get this thread, is 70 hours a week something that is excessive? I mean I get it, but if the reward is worth it, then I don't see a problem. I've worked in the military getting ready for a war and 70 hours a week would have been a light week at that time. I've worked retail commission and 12 hour work days 6 days a week was nothing(in December, if the store is open, you worked so 80 hours was no big deal). I've worked retail hourly where I would work 50 hours a week on the clock, another 15 off the clock, and still had another part time job simply because I like working. Working 70 hours a week and making even high 5 figures doesn't remotely seem like that big of an issue.(I wasn't making high 5 figures or even middle five figures) There are 168 hours in a week, you set aside 40 hours a week for sleep(yes I know that is a lot of sleep, but some people sleep more than that....I couldn't get my body to do that unless I am sick) that still leaves you 128 hours in a week, work 60 hours, and you still have 68 hours to live life.

(I'm pretty certain that over the past 25 years, I've worked more weeks over 55 hours of work, than I have worked weeks of just 35 or less hours of work)


Being smart and having a work ethic only gets you so far financially, you have to actually desire money and be willing to do what it takes to make money. I have a couple of friends who aren't the sharpest knives in the drawer, who make really good money, simply because their life goal was to make money, more power too them, but I just can't be a type of person who basically scams people---one is a "financial" advisor, the other is "internet sourcing/advertising/Multimedia level marketing or some other crap like that" They work less hours than me, make a isht ton more money, and have a lesser work ethic than me, but it's jobs I couldn't even fathom doing without wanting to put a bullet in my brain on a daily basis.
   56. Blastin Posted: February 18, 2017 at 07:57 AM (#5404230)
Yeah, no, working 12-14 hours in day is just not something interesting for me.

I want to get up, exercise, go home, exercise or socialize, cook dinner.

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