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Want to Be “CEO of Me? New Book Tells How

Apr 07, 2008

Feeling victimized by your over-committed work and family schedules? SFU Business associate professor Brenda Lautsch has a remedy.

She is the co-author of a new book, CEO of Me: Crafting a Life that Works in the Flexible Job Age (Wharton Press), filled with tools and ideas for taking charge and organizing a life that works on your terms.

Lautsch co-wrote the book with Michigan State University colleague Ellen Kossek. Both are experts in work/life issues. They plumbed their years of research and also interviewed hundreds of professionals at Fortune 500 companies as well as workers in manufacturing plants, teleworkers, even the self-employed, to establish new parameters for balancing life and work.

Their most startling discovery? A flexible job situation, such as telecommuting, flex-time or self-employment, doesn’t automatically improve your work/life situation. “You have to consciously take charge of how you manage the boundaries between work and family,” says Lautsch. “Technology and tools don’t solve the problem either. You need to make some choices around what place work is going to have in your life. You need to become the CEO of me.”

The book helps people clarify their values and learn new ways to self-manage work/life issues. It identifies six work/life patterns – three good and three bad – and offers step-by-step guidance on moving forward towards a more productive and comfortable arrangement, a concept the authors call ‘flexstyle’. The book also profiles people who have succeeded and gives strategies for negotiating change.

“People have more choice than they think,” says Lautsch, herself the mother of a four-year-old and a 10-month old. “CEO of Me is about trying to inspire people and give them the tools for taking charge of their lives.”

The book is available in Canadian and U.S. bookstores as well as at all major online book retailers.

For more information about Dr. Lautsch’s research, please follow this link.