Len Schlesinger is the President of Babson College. Prior to that, he was Vice Chairman and COO of Limited Brands, and Executive Vice President and COO at Au Bon Pain. He was also a professor of business administration at Harvard Business School for 20 years. He is the author or co-author of ten business books.
Len Schlesinger on the greatest misconception about entrepreneurship; what entrepreneurs often don’t take into account; the one rule he and his wife have; the notion of “acceptable loss”, and why work-life balance is not realistically achievable.
Q: Why do you think that the effects of an entrepreneurial business on families is not a topic addressed in business schools?
A: It’s a topic that gets discussed in panels and forums, at meals and coffee breaks, and at EO and YPO meetings–but it never comes up inside the classroom. From an academic standpoint, there’s been no systematic data collection related to this topic, so faculty don’t have much to offer about it. By putting this topic out there in your articles and your book, you are legitimizing more public conversation around it.
Q: What do you think is the greatest misconception about entrepreneurship and families?
A: What is most naïve about our discussions of entrepreneurship is that it is defined as a solo activity. In reality, it isn’t. There are key relationships–partners, family, and friends. The notion that it is just Continue reading
Eileen Fisher is the founder and Chief Creative Officer of Eileen Fisher, a line of relaxed but elegant women’s clothing and accessories. Eileen founded her company in 1984. She has 900 employees, with 54 stores in 18 states. She has two college-aged children.
Eileen Fisher on keeping priorities straight; on finding balance with her work; on what “quality time” really means; on the distinction between passion and addiction, and why business is like love.
Q: Why do you think there’s not more discussion about the intersection of work and family?
A: Entrepreneurs aren’t asked these questions. There’s this driven-ness, this hyper-focus. If you’d asked me these kinds of questions 15 years ago they would have overwhelmed me. I was so in the thick of it.
Q: You didn’t have time to stop and consider how the business was affecting your family?
A: For me the business was such a passion, such an obsession. There was so much good in it. It drove me, it was exciting, fun, happening, like a wild horse pulling me. I couldn’t get off. Continue reading
Esther Pearl Watson
More businesses fail than succeed. In the wake of a company’s failure, marriages can falter too. Couples can rebuild by reconnecting with the ties that bound them together in the first place. Read the Inc. magazine article here.
Esther Pearl Watson
Business owners strive to control their lives and fortunes. When illness strikes, everything flies out the window. Read the Inc. Magazine article here.
Why the start of a business so often spells the end of a marriage. Read the Inc. Magazine article here.
The four words an entrepreneur’s spouse dreads hearing: “I have an idea.” Read the Inc. Magazine article here.
Working in your spouse’s company may be the toughest job you’ll ever have. Read the Inc. Magazine article here.