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When Work and Family Collide: Keeping Your Job from Cheating Your Family Paperback – December 20, 2011
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About the Author
Communicator, author, and pastor, ANDY STANLEY founded Atlanta-based North Point Ministries in 1995. Today, NPM is comprised of six churches in the Atlanta area and a network 30 churches around the globe collectively serving nearly 70,000 people weekly.
As host of Your Move with Andy Stanley, with over five million messages consumed each month through television and podcasts, and author of more than 20 books, including The New Rules for Love, Sex & Dating, Ask It, How to Be Rich, Deep & Wide, Visioneering, and Next Generation Leader, he is considered one of the most-influential pastors in America.
Andy and his wife, Sandra, have three grown children and live near Atlanta.
From the Hardcover edition.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Growing up, Joel had watched his father work sunup to sundown plowing fields, mowing lawns, and working in a factory. But somehow the family never seemed to get ahead. With the opportunities Joel had been given to make a better life, he felt a responsibility before God to be a good steward of those prospects. In essence, he felt called by God to achieve his maximum career potential as a servant-leader in business.
And achieve he did.
Upon graduating from Harvard, Joel was offered his dream job—he was one of the first four people hired for a new General Motors start-up soon to be known as Saturn. As part of this groundbreaking team, Joel distinguished himself in the auto industry.
Fueled by that early success, Joel moved up quickly through the GM ranks. His skills, gifts, and work ethic made him perfectly suited for high-level executive leadership. He was destined for the top. At the age of thirty-four, he received an incredible offer to become the president of Saab Cars USA. So he left GM to take on a whole new level of demands. Joel excelled in his new position, and with the success came more responsibility.
Joel was soon put in charge of Saab in Asia, South America, and Canada as well. There seemed to be no limit to his future, but at the same time, there seemed to be no end to his frustration. You see, career wasn’t the only arena in which Joel had goals for his life. He and his wife, Marki, had dreams for their family as well. By the time Joel reached his peak at Saab, they had three daughters. While each of Joel’s promotions took them a step closer to reaching their financial goals, each demanded more of his time as well. Time that he knew belonged to Marki and the kids.
Marki embraced her role with the same tenacity Joel exhibited in the marketplace. She was committed to being a team player. She didn’t always like the hand she was dealt, but she accepted it and did the best she could. She held down the home front while Joel worked to build a bright future for the family. But there was always the frustration, the loneliness, and at times, the anger.
As Joel describes it, “I was traveling more than 50 percent of the time. There were car shows and dealer meetings all the time. And when I was home, I wasn’t really there—I had a latenight conference call with Japan or an early-morning conference call with Sweden. In my heart I wanted to be with my family. But I felt like this job was something I had to do. Our family had financial goals, and I felt like God had given me this talent that I should be using. And I viewed each promotion as his reward for a job well done. The truth is, I just couldn’t say no. Looking back, it wasn’t God prying me away from my family. It was me.”
One day, a close friend called Marki to wish her happy birthday. During their casual conversation, a wave of emotions
began to surface, surprising even Marki. It was the second year in a row that Joel had been out of town on her birthday. He hadn’t forgotten. He just had a job to do. And she had willingly agreed he should go. But somehow, in that moment, Marki was hit with the reality that the very things they were working so hard to achieve were slipping through their fingers with each passing day.
In yet another long-distance phone call, Marki confronted Joel with the painful truth that he was not being the husband
or father she had signed up for. In the weeks that followed, Joel and Marki had many heart-to-heart conversations. As Joel began to notice the despair in her countenance, he knew he had to make some major changes. Fast.
“I looked at Marki, and she was bawling her eyes out,” he explains. “I knew that if I continued down this path, I was
going to lose my family.”
Joel made a decision right then and there. He didn’t have a plan. He wasn’t sure how he could pull off the changes necessary to bring balance to his personal life. He didn’t know how he could disentangle himself from his involvement in the car industry. But one thing was certain: He refused to keep going in the direction he was going. Things had to get better. Little did he realize just how bad things would get.
In an attempt to regain control of his life and family, Joel left the international demands of the auto industry for the fastgrowing dot-com world. On the morning of April 4, 2000, Joel began his first day as the CEO of a well-funded Internet startup company, with high hopes for the future. By the end of business on April 4, 2000, it was a very different picture. That day’s market plummet marked the beginning of the stock market crash of 2000–2002, which caused the loss of five trillion dollars in the market value of companies, as well as the loss of Joe’s hopes for an easy answer to the challenges between work and home. In fact, two weeks into the new company, Joel found himself laying off two-thirds of the company’s three hundred employees. The emotional toll of firing two hundred people, combined with twenty-hour workdays, led to more sleepless nights. His first attempt to reclaim the life he wanted led to further distance from Marki and greater desperation.
The remarkable events that followed have had an incredible impact on Joel’s life. As he and Marki describe it, the aftermath of Joel’s decision to reorder his world was the clearest indication they’d ever experienced of God’s presence in their lives and marriage.
Top Customer Reviews
One thing I dearly loved about this book was that Stanley's examples covered a wide variety of "work" situations: men, women, professionals, the self-employed, pastors, stay-at-home moms, and people with time-consuming hobbies. It was convicting. This applies to ME, not just workaholics employed outside of the home.
A big message boiled down to integrity, that second bullet point in the publisher's description. Is my family my priority in reality? Or am I expecting them to judge me based on my intentions? Don't we all do that? I expect other people to judge me by my thoughts and motives and intentions. I judge others by what they actually do.
That was the point I had to stop and think a fair amount, because Stanley uses such vivid examples and word pictures to convey the points he is making. Points about expecting our families to step in and pick up the slack, or about a lack of communication about what really matters when it comes to actually showing them that they are important.
Obviously, Stanley isn't advocating that we stop doing our jobs and stop providing for our families. But "cheating" at work doesn't mean that we don't do a good job. It means that need to be intentional about our decisions regarding when to go above and beyond at work, and when to say no.
This is a book I really think everyone ought to read. It is practical. It acknowledges that the choices are not always easy or clear-cut.
Read the excerpts. But really... go get the book.
Disclaimer: I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group in exchange for this review.
The book begins with Andy offering context to those of us who are workaholics or who struggle with prioritizing the demands of work with the needs of home. Essentially, he wants us to understand that when we choose to work long hours, even for good purposes, we are putting work at higher priority than spending time with loved ones. And the message to those loved ones resonates at a deeper level than we might realize.
Andy proposes two solutions. First, honest communication. Ask family members how they feel about your work schedule or when you miss their events. Second, action. Make a deliberate and calculated schedule change that glorifies God by emphasizing family. I should note that Andy focuses the book mostly on the impact time away at work has on those closest to us, but it also has a significant impact on our service to God. Andy does spend a good amount of time explaining that we are to honor God with our time, but in this book, the focal point of that desire is expressed through interaction with loved ones.
One thing I appreciated was how Andy defined the problem of time commitment: "Your problem is not discipline. Your problem is not organization. Your problem is not that you have yet to stumble onto the perfect schedule. And your problem is not that the folks at home demand too much of your time.Read more ›
In this book Andy Stanley articulates the modern realities that face us in the market place and in our homes. He does not minimize, rationalize, or make excuses for the break down of families. What he does very well is to show how we can be excellent in the marketplace and serve our families needs in a balanced and biblical manner.
Andy Stanley gives a myriad of practical examples of how we can prioritize our lives biblically and bring glory to God in the workplace and in our homes. I highly recommend this book as a very practical guide for you in seeking to be a balanced Christian that prioritizes life in a manner that contributes mightily to what is most pleasing to our Awesome God - for His ultimate glory.
The subtitle to "When Work and Family Collide" is "Keeping Your Job from Cheating Your Family", and was previously released as "Choosing to Cheat" (I like the new title much better). The author's premise is that people (often men) spend too much time at work in order to get ahead, be successful, or achieve some goals or dreams they have but in the process they sacrifice, or cheat, something else more important and lasting - family.
The book is broken into two parts: the internal processes that desire success over family relationships, and how to change this so that it's reversed. As with other Stanley books, this one has an easy-to-read style that feels more like a conversation than a book. It's full of stories of people's lives, which I greatly appreciated because it enabled me to see parts of myself in each of them, allowing me to evaluate myself from different perspectives.
As such, the book is also very practical - he doesn't spend much time in abstract theory land, although it's not without those critical reflections. He invites the reader to think in specifics, not settling for vague and empty promises that can easily be broken, which was very convicting - but in a good way. Drawing upon first chapter of the book of Daniel for an example, Stanley uses Daniel's model of change throughout Part Two to identify how to make changes. The following steps are simple yet incredibly insightful, wise, and mature:
1. Make up your mind
2. Create a plan
3.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Stanley delivers again. A simple and poignant principle: Family first. His stories are real and relevant. A fast read that prepares us to change our lives, forever.Published 1 month ago by Justin E Chan
Every Buisness leader should read this book. It is convicting while encouraging you to think about what is really important.Published 3 months ago by Kevin
I learned about spending time with my family. I have to purpose it! This point forward, I will plan on how I spend time with the family everydayPublished 6 months ago by jr.
Take this book to heart and your life will only get better. I highly recommend and hope you will take the time.
I would recommend this book to every parent and spouse. We live in a culture that says "Go Go Go!" and "More More More! Read morePublished 8 months ago
Love this book! A great biblical view on how to keep family a priority when work seems to demand more time.Published 9 months ago by Matthew
I love how Pastor Andy challenges us to cheat at work instead of the places God has called us most, home. Family values time, work values production. Prioritize accordingly.Published 10 months ago by wtippen