Fast Company on HWYMYL
Fast Company is running an in-depth interview with Clay. From the article:
You draw strong parallels in the book between growing a career, a company, cultivating one’s personal or interior life, and building a family life. What is consistent across these four spheres?
The world is a nested space, and so we have our brain as a person, and people are members of teams, and teams are part of business units, and business units are parts of corporations, and corporations are part of industries, which are part of economies. And what we’ve been trying to figure out is, are there fundamental statements of causality that are the same across all of these units? And we really have concluded that there are. They each have their own vocabulary, but the fundamental causal mechanism is very much the same. I would say that one of those is the resource-allocation process.
Can you describe how that process works?
You have businesses, just like IBM has a bunch of different businesses that they’re engaged in. Through a resource-allocation process, you decide how much goes to this business, how much goes to that business. You have businesses in your life: family, relationships, career. And you have to decide how do you allocate your resources. If you decide, “I’m going stay at work another hour,” you allocate energy and time and talent to your career that you won’t spend with your kids; that’s a resource-allocation process. That criteria that we employ is scarily, frightfully consistent up and down. That is–in all these businesses, the one that will get prioritized is the one that pays off the fastest.
We decry how businesses always are short-term oriented, and we know that they should invest for the long term, but man, none of them are able to do that on a consistent basis. And the reason is that they’re run by people like you and me, and almost all of us have this need of achievement. And so when you have an extra ounce of time, an ounce of energy, if you spend that time on your career–you finish an article, you ship a product, you close a deal, you finish a presentation, you get promoted, you get paid. Our careers provide immediate evidence that you’ve achieved something.
But the kids, they misbehave every day. It’s not until much later when you can say, “Spence, [my son], is 24. And boy, he’s a good man.” But on a day-to-day basis, it’s a long-term investment that you have to make.