Hold Leaders Accountable for…Bad Parenting

kinnon —  June 28, 2007 — 3 Comments

This is an interesting article that Bob Sutton pointed to (almost a week ago – I’m still catching up on my Google Reader reading). Penelope Trunk in The Huffington Post:

…there appears to be little room for parenting if you’re at the very top.

Fortune magazine ran an article about Howard Stringer, CEO of Sony. He is married with two children and is quoted as saying at company meeting, “I don’t see my family much. My family is you.”

Fortune ran a profile of Jeff Immelt, chief executive of GE. Immelt said that he has been working 100-hour weeks for the last 20 years. He also said that he is married and they have an 18-year-old daughter.

I can’t decide which is more pathetic — the way these men approach their role as a parent, or the way that Fortune magazine writes about it without any commentary.

How can there be no mention of the fact that these CEOs are neglecting their kids?

We have a double standard in our society: If you are poor and you abandon your kids, you are a bad parent. But if you are rich and you abandon them to run a company, you are profiled in Fortune magazine.

Read the entire column, please.

I’ve had the misfortune of seeing way too much of this in the institutional church – often later accompanied by a heavy dose of nepotism in an attempt to compensate for the neglect. It doesn’t work. The church and the family both suffer.



A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

3 responses to Hold Leaders Accountable for…Bad Parenting

  1. Hi, Bill. Thank you for linking to my pieceon the Huffington Post. It’s great to see how many people are interested in these ideas — I’m looking forward to big change!


  2. That’s kind of a given in the business world. The sad part is that for the church, doing a good job at home is supposed to be a minimum qualification for being named as a leader in the church. We’ve swapped relational qualifications for institutional ones.

  3. Just stopped by from theviewfromher and caught this post. I’d read the same Fortune article and had the same thought. I’ve spent several working years at both large companies and large churches and have seen this surface too many times. Andy Stanley addresses the church side in “Choosing to Cheat,” but few go after the corporate issue. Seems it’s considered part of the employment contract. Thanks for posting.


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