Efessiou, in his debut, gently offers parenting advice as he tells his own story of fatherhood. As a young, up-and-coming executive, he read a 1990 article in Fortune magazine titled “Why Grade ‘A’ Executives Get An ‘F’ as Parents.” According to the author, the article highlighted how the same personality traits that create successful executives—such as ambition and a willingness to work long hours—can often create neglectful, absent parents. Determined to not make the same mistakes, he decided to eschew endless office hours and use his management skills to be the best father he could possibly be. After a bitter divorce, his 7-year-old daughter chose to live with him, and he put his philosophy into action; he raised his little girl using the same guiding principles he used in business. Using a common-sense approach, Efessiou discusses practices such as “viewing the big picture” and “examining the bottom line,” and applies each principle to child-rearing. Getting children’s respect is paramount, he writes; just as bosses shouldn’t strive to be their employees’ friends, parents shouldn’t try to be their children’s buddies. Similarly, he writes that effective communication and clearly defined rules are as important at home as they are in the office. Although children are not employees, and it may seem a bit cold to compare an adult child to a return on an investment, Efessiou’s anecdotes are anything but harsh. For example, like many working parents, he scrambled to rearrange his business plans so he could attend his daughter’s childhood events. In another memorable and somewhat humorous story, he tells of how he foiled his teenage daughter’s plans for a party at their house while he was out of town on business. However, although the author’s advice is often wise, much of it is rather general, and sometimes feels like it could be displayed on motivational posters: “To achieve our bottom line goals with our children, we must teach them that they do not need to do anything unwise to be special or conform thoughtlessly to earn acceptance.” The book also includes pictures, as well as appreciative notes and letters from Efessiou’s daughter and her friend.
Affable inspiration for the harried parent.