December 29, 2019

“Living in balance requires courage”

It takes courage to clearly delineate the boundaries between work, home and passion – but the change it brings is worth it. An interview between Grzegorz Stech and Monika Ciesielska, Managing Partner of Carpenter Consulting, for Computerworld.

Grzegorz Stech: Are Polish managers able to work? In the research, Poles work 10 hours on average, we are one of the nations working the longest, and at the same time the least effective. So if this is what work is like, what is the rest?

Monika Ciesielska: This is a frequent topic of conversations I have with candidates for managerial positions … and at home.

Monika Ciesielska: The higher the position, the more responsibility and work we have to do ourselves. Not everything can be outsourced to employees or outsourced. As a consequence, we work about 10 hours a day, sometimes longer. However, are we really effective all this time? Our age, overwork, lack of holidays, family, and health situation all affect the quality of our work. Not every 2 hours we work equally effectively, let alone 10. Will we create something that will amaze the world by sitting on an important project at night, fighting sleep?

I have the impression that in the rush we are in, we have forgotten that we need to rest. Employers expect more and more, and we passively submit to it by setting deadlines that are too short, we promise the implementation of topics for tomorrow. The problem is mainly in planning, prioritizing, and managing time. Especially in the latter, we are not the best.

Grzegorz Stech: Jack Welch once said that if you work to the maximum, you should relax to the maximum.

Monika Ciesielska: What Welch said is an increasingly common scenario at a higher management level. Managers work at maximum speed and go on monthly holidays. I got a taste of it myself, spending a very active vacation, without a computer, with a phone in “airplane” mode. I still feel the positive effects today.

On the other hand, in a recent project for an n-2 position, one of the managers I recommended was an avid traveler. The conversation with the corporation went great, but they missed the finish, after the candidate asked about his availability replied that he could join the company within a month, but loyally informs them that he will soon be going to Thailand for 3 weeks, and 2 months after his return has already planned a 2-week trip to Africa. It was unacceptable to the corporation.

The full interview is available HERE.