Consumed with Reaching the Top: Now What?

Jerry Levin, the former CEO of Time Warner who masterminded the failed merger with AOL, has a very different view on corporate responsibility and executive life than he did 6 years ago.

He now says, “I believe in the importance of the capitalist system . . . But there is a such a focus on delivering those returns almost without any understanding that there are deeper issues that management is also about – humanism and respect for people in the company; serving the public interest; higher obligations to yourself and the world.”[1]

To help gain the proper perspective, Levin says, “My strong advice would be to find a calm, meditative state every day. With the tempo of the executive life, that seems almost impossible, but it’s probably the most important thing that you can do.”[2]

From my personal experience, I have found that to be true. As I am enticed to busily work for success, security, money, and all the other exciting possibilities that our society presents, I have to stop to gain perspective each day. What is truly important? How am I treating people starting with my family members? For me gaining perspective takes the shape of time each morning when I read scripture and pray.

What do you do to avoid being caught up in the demands of life? How do you keep priorities in line? How do you treat the people you interact with each day?

[1] Business Week, Facetime, July 14, 2008, p 24.
[2] Business Week, Facetime, July 14, 2008, p 24

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