Think about what you see when someone mentions the word executive. Close your eyes, and see what your mind pictures as you think of what you believe an executive. What did you see? When I think of an executive I think of powerful looking man in a sharp suit making large business deals with international big-wigs. I think of bank accounts in the Carribean and 2nd homes in Italy. I think about the dark limousines and the power ties and golfing with the president or a powerful person in Congress. I think of Martini’s and big cigars and lawyers and secret memos.
Why do all these things come to mind with the word executive? Well the movies of course!! Why shouldn’t we believe the movies? They are real, right? Well as usual that statement couldn’t be further from the truth. Being an executive includes a great deal more than the sharp suits, making large business deals, and often doesn’t involve those things mentioned above. So what does being an executive really involve? Well I want to talk about that and do some realistic guessing (I have never been one myself) about what it takes to be an executive.
The life of an executive is actually a life that is filled with sacrifice. Time and again people have sacrificed many, many hours working hard in a cubicle and burning the midnight oil just to get ahead. Once they are ahead there work doesn’t slow down it is greater than before because you are constantly on the go in order to maintain your place of power.
Power is an interesting word. You do have power as an executive, but it is the power to move a company in the right direction. An executive really doesn’t have the power to move the company in the wrong direction. As soon as the boat begins to lean the board of directors or whatever you want to call the governing body of a company, will be on your heels hounding you until you either get the company going back in the right direction or resign.
The vacations in the Caribbean and the golf outings with important people are kind of misleading. An executive doesn’t have the time to do those things as often as a normal employee would because you don’t have the time. You have to be so committed to work as an executive that vacations and time spent with family are wishful thinking.
It is these two last things that are perhaps the biggest argument against becoming a big-shot executive in a large company. That is being a slave to your watch/day planner and being a stranger to your family. Life after all isn’t worth living if you can’t enjoy the fruit of your labor and form meaningful relationships with people that love you.