GOOD

Single dad's viral post to his employees demands they have a social life. Boss of the year.

This is what real leadership looks like.

Balancing a full-time job and raising kids is a tough juggling act in itself, but its magnified in a culture that doesn't give extensive parental leave and expects employees to act like they're on call even if they're not getting paid. This is, of course, multiplied if you're a single parent navigating the work-life balance on your own.


Sadly, even with increasing open dialogue around parenting in the work place and the ways the US pales in comparison to other countries when it comes to supporting working mothers (and single fathers), the issue of demanding bosses and unflexible workplace culture persists.

So, when the single father and president of the digital agency Wunderman Chicago, Ian Sohn wrote a post on LinkedIn about the workplace culture he cultivated for parents, it immediately went viral.

He wrote about how he doesn't need to interrogate his employees about their personal lives, and he doesn't hold expectations for them to be available to his every whim:

"I never need to know you’ll be back online after dinner. I never need to know why you chose to watch season 1 of “Arrested Development” (for the 4th time) on your flight to LA instead of answering emails. I never need to know you’ll be in late because of a dentist appointment. Or that you’re leaving early for your kid’s soccer game. I never need to know why you can’t travel on a Sunday. I never need to know why you don’t want to have dinner with me when I’m in your town on a Tuesday night."

He went on to share that he resents how infantilized the workplace has become, and how employees are often manipulated into apologizing and over-explaining their lives to demanding bosses. The lack of trust, he wrote, is deeply unhealthy for all parties.

"I never need to know that you’re working from home today because you simply need the silence. I deeply resent how we’ve infantilized the workplace. How we feel we have to apologize for having lives. That we don’t trust adults to make the right decisions. How constant connectivity/availability (or even the perception of it) has become a valued skill."

He finished his post by expressing gratitude for the transparent and understanding bossess and employees he's encountered over the years, and shared that a negative situation with a former boss helped shape his current outlook on parenting in the workplace.

"I'm equally grateful for the trust/respect my peers, bosses and teams show me every day. Years ago a very senior colleague reacted with incredulity that I couldn’t fly on 12 hours notice because I had my kids that night (and I'm a single dad. edit: divorced). I didn’t feel the least bit guilty, which I could tell really bothered said colleague. But it still felt horrible. I never want you to feel horrible for being a human being."

His post was quickly met with gratitude and recognition from fellow parents, and tired employees in general.

Hopefully, as the public conversation about the balance of work and parenting (and life in general) persists, so will the gradual shift in workplace culture.

This article originally appeared on Someecards. You can read it here.

Articles
Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

Keep Reading Show less

September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

Keep Reading Show less
Health
via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

Keep Reading Show less
Health