ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - August 2000

Issue Highlight - Homeward Bound
--- Peter Block offers some practical reccomendations about how to create balance and harmony in your life.
These recommendations are guaranteed to work or your time back."

In This Issue...
The Economics of Choice
Children: A Blessing or a Lucky Taxbreak
Welcome to the Wild West
The Struggle to Have It All

Peter Block Column
Day In The Life Stories
Views for a Change

Heard on the Street
Letters to the Editor

Balancing Work and Life — A Profile

Making Life Decisions

  News For a Change e-mailed. We called. We really hoped that Bob Chrysler would call us back. After all, it wasn't just the rapidly approaching deadline that was urging us on. After dealing with our own frenetic schedules, we had to know: How does Bob Chrysler, Chairman and CEO of Hi-Lex Controls Inc. and Hi-Lex Corporation, two multi-million dollar subsidiaries, balance his demanding career and his family life?

  Finally, we heard from Bob and we were pleased to learn that he was not avoiding us, but had been called to Mexico on extremely short notice to assist their Mexican sister company (Hi-Lex Mexicana) with a difficult situation concerning mutual customers. According to Bob, this is not an unusual occurrence. Rather, it's a part of his job that he, like many others, has identified as a prime example of the seemingly endless struggle between balancing his work and family life.

  While the struggle to achieve balance is an ongoing one, Bob believes he is a lot closer to the goal than he was 20 years ago. "When I was younger, I felt like I had to do everything," admits Bob. "Because of that, I missed a good part of my older two children's growing stages." By the time his next two children were born, some tougher questions began to surface. "I came to the realization," recalls Bob, "that I had to identify what I would personally become involved with, and start to push back on those demanding my time and let them know that certain things are their responsibility- not mine."

  But delegating responsibility can only take one so far. On any given day, Bob can be found managing the sales of both companies (as well as Hi-Lex Mexicana), interacting with their financial department to gather critical information on the financial performance of each company, touching base with the quality departments or even working with each U.S. company's human resource center, among other things. These busy days and the demands of running a company would leave many people wondering if there wasn't something more.

  Today, Bob makes a conscious effort to keep his weekends and vacations work-free. He is a turn-off-the-pager, avoid-checking-the-e-mail-at-midnight type of guy. "I know too many workaholics," explains Bob. "A long time ago, a friend told me that people don't make career decisions, they make life decisions. I have never forgotten that." This is advice that many people facing today's seemingly endless demands of work should take to heart.

  At Hi-Lex, managers do all they can to help employees find steady ground. One firmly balanced between keeping Hi-Lex successful and their personal lives enriched and meaningful. "We are trying to be proactive with employee use of personal days, emergency use of vacation time, no-fault attendance and salary flex time," says Bob.

Interview Homepage

August 2000 NFC Homepage


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