When Michael Kanellos--CNET News editor-at-large--asked me to do this blog, he said, among other things, "people spend their whole lives bitching about work and yet we never read about it."
"Well, yeah, that's true, but I want to write about dysfunctional executives and companies," I complained. "You know, I want to write about train wrecks."
"Sure, you can do that too," he said, the way an adult appeases a whining child. "But I'm telling you, focusing on career and management will be cool. You know the topic, you can be funny about it, and people care about it, yet mainstream media pays almost no attention to it."
As I sat there, pondering the apparent wisdom of his idea, Michael delivered his coup de grace: "Climbing the ladder sucks and everyone is obsessed with it, yet few speak out on it."
Wow, I thought, ain't that the truth. Perceptive guy, that Kanellos.
I had certainly spent a good part of my life obsessed with climbing the corporate ladder, almost lost my marriage over it. And for what? For the money? For the pats on the back? For the knowledge that I'd done something with my life that makes a difference?
I don't know about you, and I never wanted to admit this, but I don't think I did it for any of those reasons. I think I did it because I was programmed to do it. My dad grew up in the Depression and thought he was doing the right thing--drilling into me that nothing was more important than a successful career.… Read more