A business executive offers a manifesto for corporate chiefs, entrepreneurs, and startup professionals that shows the impact of today’s “hustle culture” on work-life balance.
Hidalgo (Driving Demand, 2015) shares his story of co-founding and growing a marketing business while he neglected his family at home. Eventually, he reached a crossroads where he had to choose to either continue his pursuit of the “American Dream”—expanding his company at the risk of losing his family and marriage—or take a step back and redefine success as it related to his own values. He decided to quit the business he had nurtured for over a decade so he could spend more time with his family. Each chapter of his book challenges business executives to question whether they are sacrificing for their families by working long hours or forcing their loved ones to make sacrifices for them. Questions are included at the end of most sections that entreat readers to engage in self-reflection. They include “What does happiness and joy look like for you?” and “Who are those that are making the sacrifice so you can achieve professionally?” There is an illuminating chapter written by the author’s wife, Susanne, that explains the impact his constant work travel and long hours had on her and their children. The author includes many vivid anecdotes and stories from male business professionals who either decided to step off the corporate ladder to focus on their home lives or were still grappling with how to do so. While the book features some anecdotes about female executives, it would have benefited from more of their stories. On top of striving for work-life balance, they are often expected to organize child care and housekeeping duties. The sincere work ends abruptly after providing a diverse and intriguing collection of corporate profiles.
An earnest but uneven call to arms for those who need warnings about what they will lose by constantly working.