Why a CEO Must Demonstrate a Commitment to His Family

CEOs all over the world are constantly feeling guilt about their work life balance. If they spend time with their family, they feel guilty about missing something at work. If they work late, they feel guilty about their wives having to cook alone again. However, some CEOs believe this should be different. For Charles Phillips, Infor CEOs, affairs concerning the business are those concerning the family as well. More than anything, however, he believes in setting the right example.


It is a known fact that when CEOs work every hour, which they often do, they set a precedence among their staff, showing that they expect the same. Often times, they don’t actually expect the same at all, but other staff members emulate their leaders and start doing the same. This is why, for CEOs like Charles Phillips, it is important to demonstrate that it is good to spend time with the family, something he often does.

He also recognizes, for instance, that people who do not have enough time to spend with their loved ones become unhappy, and unhappy people are less productive as well. Hence, he makes sure that he takes time off as much as possible, spends regular evenings with his wife and kids, and enjoys himself regularly. In fact, when new members of the executive team are interviewed, he takes them out for dinner, something sociable and fun. And when he has large company gatherings, he is always overheard talking about his wife Karen and their children.

Phillips isn’t the only CEO working in this way. For instance, CEO Weinberger was offered a CEO job and, before taking it, he asked his children whether they were in agreement. They said they were, so long as he agreed to keep up with certain commitments and devote that time just to them. He took on the job, and was immediately asked to come to the company offices in China for a speech. One of his new employees asked him which touristic spots in China he would visit, and if he expected to take any selfies. His reply was that it would have to wait for another visit, as he had agreed to be there for his daughter’s driving test in Washington D.C., which was set for the next morning.

After he said that, Weinberger was inundated with emails. None of those made any reference to his speech, one that he thought was the best of his career and that he had worked on for hours. Rather, everybody wanted to say they really liked that he put his family first, and that he wanted to be there for his daughter’s driving test. This showed him, and many other CEOs, that it is very important to lead by example. Too many businesses say they have flexible working hours but, unless leadership uses it, others won’t either. People simply don’t feel like they are really allowed to take time off if their boss doesn’t take any either.