Is your “Culture” killing you?


I spent time, recently, with a multi-talented friend working in a key role for a large start-up company in the silicon valley; her job offered lots of opportunity and monetary gain.

“What a GREAT opportunity!” she had been told over and over again.

Behind the scenes she was working 11 hours days while commuting for 2 more. The culture of the company praised those that were available 24/7, those who worked weekends were rewarded with a strong pat on the back, those who gave all they had for the company were the ones who gained greater influence~So the entire culture serves the company without  any guard rails.

Here’s the reality~ my friend worked very hard and used her time efficiently and intentionally.  She would continue to answer email and texts long into the evening; she was never off work. No matter how well she used her time the work was simply never done!

Parkinsons law reads like this, “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.  If we continue to make time “available” the time will continually fill up!

Through her exhausted tears she honestly expressed that she had lost sight of her own priorities for the sake of her work culture.  She barely saw her daughter and husband, never took time for exercise, ate on the run, and had no energy filling activities at all! She didn’t look like the vibrant lady I have known for so long; she looked tired.

Doesn’t seem like a good trade off to me.

It was amazing to see her resolve as we discussed creating a plan for her personal/work life where she intentionally communicated that she would be leaving working at 5:30, she would stay off her phone in the evening, and she would incorporate exercise into her morning routine. She clearly recognized that the company culture would kill her if she didn’t set the guard rails needed to survive.

What about your work culture?  Have you lost sight of your personal values to embrace the values of the company?  Have you become consumed with being available 24/7?  If so, has there been a cost? Honestly access your situation and ask yourself this question:

Is it time for you to set some guard rails for yourself?

In an article written by Angel Chernoff she says that after conducting a study she found these to be the biggest regrets people expressed when nearing death:

  • “I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.”
  • “I wish I didn’t work so hard my whole life.”
  • “I wish that I had let myself be happier.”

Thoughts worth considering. 🙂

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