Advice For Leaders Who Do NOT Want To Be No 1 in Work-Life Misery

Reading this New York Post story on David Solomon ending summer Fridays at Goldman Sachs – as part of his 5-day-in-the-office mandate – I’m thinking we’ve got this guy all wrong.

Goldman has long worked to be No 1 in investment banking, sales and trading and private banking services. They’ve had admirable success and created a lot of wealth for their employees. Maybe Solomon is trying to make Goldman No 1 at doing exactly the wrong thing when it comes to post-pandemic work?

When he was named CEO in 2018, he was lauded as the right person at the right time, and his side hustle as a techno DJ was mentioned as something that made him more relatable.

Now, not so much.

Today, Solomon is making Jamie Dimon‘s back-to-work ‘hustle’ edict at J.P. Morgan look downright reasonable.

And Solomon’s song of “Let’s Work Like It’s 2018!” is having exactly the outcome we at The Company of Dads and others have predicted: Goldman’s earnings were down 58 percent last quarter.

Wall Street tolerates a lot of nonsense and downright abhorrent behavior. But it doesn’t tolerate failure. It’s a metrics-driven world and pairing an in-office work policy with declining profits (not to mention harder-to-measure flagging morale) is a bad look. And I can’t imagine it will be tolerated much longer.

Here’s some advice for leaders who do NOT want to be No 1 in work-life misery:

– Measure performance, not presence in the office.

– Hire employees you can trust, instead of doubling down on antiquated policies that imply distrust.

– Work to understand that productive people can work differently and still be productive and that unproductive people might go where you tell them to go but will still be, well, unproductive.

– Realize that what got you to where you are is not what’s going to get the next generation of leaders there. Repeat: this is not 1986 and Drexel Burnham should not be anyone’s model for success.

– Embracing ideas like Care Days and Care Shifts will make your organization more resilient and dynamic. Ideas from the 1980s will not.

Until then, Goldman you certainly are No. 1!