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Bob Burg

This is an exceptional posting by Stephanie West Allen. She has totally "hit the premise" on the head; which is: Before you can rationally discuss a term, you must first "define that term." And, throughout the posting, Stephanie continues to remind us that, without knowing the definition of the various writers' terms (and the terms are never actually definted, but apparently assumed that we all would see them the same premise - not likely), we really can't come to a rational conclusion regarding, or agreement or disagreement with, the points they are making.

Sean Woodruff

I am one of those "they" describe as unbalanced. I wonder why "they" don't see the paradox in describing life in parts that need balancing in order to be whole.

My life is ONE, complete whole without the parts. It can't be weighed against itself.

One life, no parts, can't be balanced.

Or, maybe I should explore schizophrenia so I can balance my thinking.

Penelope Trunk

I read that article in the Harvard Business Review. It astounds me that they leave out what seems like a very important insight from the research:
Extreme careers are seemingly fine if one person stays at home with the
kids. Many of the stress factors of the extreme career that the authors
describe -- kids watching too much TV, no one taking care of the home, for
example -- can be solved with one person staying home.

Penelope Trunk
Columnist, Boston Globe
Forthcoming book: Brazen Careerist:New Rules for Success (Warner Books, May 2007)

Sharon Lippincott

Yes, yes Sean: life as a whole, a unit. Well put, and like Bob, I too love that Stephanie is insisting on definition of terms. Score one for the defense!

Penelope's comment about children is cogent, but may not quite meet the mark. A stay-at-home parent may be able to enforce discipline and ensure safety, but they can't fill the place of the other parent who is voluntarily absent. Children notice, and they won't forget. In his 2002 memoir, "The Atomic City: A Firsthand Account of a Son of Los Alamos," Terry Rosen expresses regret and bitterness about the fact that his father, noted physicist Louis Rosen, never showed up for his Little League games or similar events other fathers attended. It wasn't enough that his stay-at-home mom was always there. DAD wasn't there!

Yes, there were extreme career overachievers in the 1950s. Will it be any different for children growing up sixty years later? Terry's dad, always known for his passion about physics, isn't the only parent who lived to read about his own parental shortcomings in a child's memoir, and he won't be the last. For better or worse, the higher profile the parent (result of overachieving, right?), the more likely children will be resentful, and the more likely memoirs will tell all.

Sharon Lippincott
Forthcoming Book: The Heart and Craft of Lifestory Writing (Lighthouse Point Press, March 2007)

Nicholas J Higgins

Hi Stephanie

Thanks for your comment on my blog (www.hcglobal.blogspot.com). I see you've obviously been doing a little more on this topic and asking all of the right questions. I'm concerned at the increase in what I call 'pop-research' which lacks due diligence, particularly definitions, being assumptive in nature and potentially misleading. Glad to see its not just me with an 'attitude' against current in-vogue thinking (zeitgeist).

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