Notes From My Journal
The Danger of Freedom: People Do What They Want to Do, Not What You Think They Should Want to Do
A Boston-based “people analytics firm” named Humanyze has instituted a mandatory parental leave policy for male employees. The motive is to “equalize” the work/parent experience.
Why is it mandatory? Why not just give fathers the option?
Because when given the freedom to choose, Humanyze’s CEO explained to the WSJ, two problematic things happen:
- The great majority of men do not take the time off. Even though they can, they choose to continue working.
- And the great majority of women choose to stay home. The fact that their husbands are free to take time off and help them out doesn’t seem to matter.
This is what happened in Denmark after men were given the legal right to paternity leave. The hope was that by forcing businesses to give fathers the option, many of them would take it and thereby do more of their “fair share” of the baby care. This would, in turn, give mothers the opportunity to spend more time in the office in pursuit of furthering their careers. But, in fact, the percentage of women that took parental leave actually increased to 92.8%.
One might conclude that, when given the freedom to choose, men and women do what they want to do, following their baked-into-the-bones preferences. Or, as the CEO of Humanyze apparently thinks, these are preferences that can be corrected with a little dose of force.
From My “Work-in-Progress” Basket
Breaking Big: The “Ready-Fire-Aim” Strategy That Took One Company From $8 Million to More Than $1 Billion
In 2010, John Wiley published a book I had written several years earlier called Ready, Fire, Aim. Of the 20+ books I’ve written on business and wealth building, Ready, Fire, Aim has had the longest tail. Although it barely made it to the bestseller lists that year, it has sold conti nuously since then.
The tail was also wide. It’s been republished in more than a dozen countries, recommended by dozens of digital newsletters and magazines, and has been used in business schools, book clubs, and even churches!
My goal with Ready, Fire, Aim was to explain my theory about starting and growing entrepreneurial businesses.
My thesis was that all entrepreneurial businesses have some commonalities in terms of the challenges they face at various stages. And I argued that if you, as an entrepreneur, recognize those commonalities, you would have a significant advantage over your competitors and a favorable chance of success.
In looking at the way businesses develop over time, I identified four levels of business growth, based on revenue: