CEO DAD’S TUESDAY TIRADE….
For many years, I have stayed out of the political arena. While anyone in modern American business has had to encounter the politics of the workplace, which undoubtedly mirror the frustrating set of compromises and half-measures facing the Beltway, I, like most of us, have decided I wanted nothing more to do with the political process as a professional.
With primary season upon us, I have been watching the candidates as they debate, press the flesh, maintain Web sites as portals for support and make countless appearances on Sunday morning television. And here is what I have noticed about Edwards, Romney, Huckabee, Clinton, Obama, McCain and all the rest of them: they are clocking in 23-hour days, putting an incredible strain on their personal, married and family lives, forced into an impossible whirlwind of activity that prevents them from devoting much of their attention to their loved ones, or anything, in fact, other than their singular, my-way-or-the-highway, win-at-all-costs vision…and nobody cares! In fact, not only do the candidates and their families appear happily on board for the tempest of campaigning, putting up with the pressure on their interpersonal relationships in the hopes of achieving something great, the general public seems to take it as a given, too. The whole enterprise is about the most out-of-work/life balance fiasco there is, but from family and supporters alike, it gets a giant pass as anything detrimental. And I’ll tell you something: I wanna get me some of that!
All these years I’ve been working on myself, getting better at communicating with my wife, making quality time for the kids, making sure I realized the value of the things in life that truly count outside my busy work schedule, and here was the two-year free ride of unapologetic nose-to-the-grindstone activity that I could pretty much be THANKED for undertaking! So, I have decided to run for president. Granted, there’s only a year left now, but I’ll take what I can get. I’ve already hired the photographer to take a picture of me with my incredibly supportive family standing behind me, all of them in complete agreement that if I am going to manage such a gargantuan undertaking, they will not hold me accountable if I get too busy to remember a birthday, PTA meeting, anniversary or play date, secure in the knowledge that the road to the White House is one fraught with demands on my time.
I’ll tell you, it’s great to feel less guilty. Now, all I need is a platform. Oh, heck, who needs to campaign on issues anymore? All I really need is a slogan. I’m thinking of “Tom Stern-Working Hard And Loving It.” (Other campaign slogan suggestions cheerfully accepted.)