Leadership work ethic and how it impacts our culture

My leadership team doesn’t have a problem working after hours even up to 2-3am in rare cases. This includes the weekends btw. Leadership also commends those who does the same- Not loud about this but you can tell here and there when the topic comes up.

So, to an extent, it funnels down to individual contributors as it seems to be necessary because of the workload.

Also, this is not just one time instance. It’s a regular thing.

Is this normal or I’m just being a whinny bitch?


Yeah, I’m at Director level and do about 30-35 hours a week and I have been consistently promoted and received top of cohort appraisals.

To hell with every single one of the “you can’t get it done on 40 hours a week” people. This is one of the problems with all the insecure, overachieving, work-drone post-MBA consulting exits wanting to get into Product rather than IB / hedge / PE now, they bring the stupid culture with them.

You’re not productive for even a third of a 12-14-hour day. These people literally don’t know how to prioritize and think brute force (time) is better than skill because late capitalism has broken their brains


@YuriRoman, So, the headline is “hell with this culture”?


I talked to my father recently who’s also a PM about this and all the things I feel like I should be doing right now since I got hit with COVID recently (despite being fully vaccinated) and he essentially told me that this is just what being a PM is like. If you love this job and it uses your talents, you likely have a visionary aspect to you and that’s why you’re the product vision holder. You see vast opportunities for improvement, growth, efficiency, etc. constantly.

And you have to be okay with that. That aspect of your personality is going to make you think you always need to be doing more when really more isn’t always better and in fact it will like detract from what the rest of your team can do. Just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. 100% of you 5 days a week is better than 60% of you 7 days a week.

One of the biggest challenges product managers face is being a “firefighter” putting out fires all day with 0 time for higher level strategy even though that is one of their key differences from the engineer and UX. I had an adjunct professor who during his career was put in charge of Oreo brand ($2bn) and one of the first things his bosses did was force him to take 15 minutes a day to putt in the morning and then jot down any ideas. — you may hate it and think it’s lazy, every powerful strategist, visionary, and creator takes time to see and build the blocks in their head before in practice.

And let’s not forget the simple truth and statistics that happy workers are much more productive.


@PouyaTaaghol, Yeah, you have to be the visionary and drive things forward, but you also need to be human and leave work at work. That old mentality of time in the seat isn’t rewarded anymore.


What’s your secret in working only 30-35 hours? Is the key through delegation?


If you like reading here’s a book I’d recommend, " Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals" by Oliver Burkeman. Know how to strategically fail things that are not in your top 3 priorities.

The average human lifespan is absurdly, insultingly brief. Assuming you live to be eighty, you have just over four thousand weeks.

Nobody needs telling there isn’t enough time. We’re obsessed with our lengthening to-do lists, our overfilled inboxes, work-life balance, and the ceaseless battle against distraction; and we’re deluged with advice on becoming more productive and efficient, and “life hacks” to optimize our days. But such techniques often end up making things worse. The sense of anxious hurry grows more intense, and still the most meaningful parts of life seem to lie just beyond the horizon. Still, we rarely make the connection between our daily struggles with time and the ultimate time management problem: the challenge of how best to use our four thousand weeks.

Hope you’d like it.


I either don’t do or ignore the things that aren’t important, and if anyone ever asks me why I haven’t done them, I say it’s because I have spent my time on the things that are. And I explain why these other things are more important, and it always works.

Most work actually isn’t important and being busy isn’t the same as being impactful. Choose the three most important things and do those and deliberately fail the rest and say why you failed them. That’s it.

Especially hand-wringing meetings about process, firefighting overreactions to one thing going wrong, most internal status meetings, they’re all a waste of time.

Anything that doesn’t look important, I just don’t go to and don’t bother explaining myself.

Maybe it’s a privilege of rank but once I figured this out, it felt like a superpower.


Product lead confirming it. Leaders who work long don’t know how to prioritize in a smart way and are bad for business.


Came from consulting into product. Quickly realized how much consulting did not prep me for product and had to constantly challenge myself and my viewpoints. In many cases, I had to un-teach myself terrible habits learned from consulting

I don’t work past 6pm and do my best to focus on the things that actually matter. Also, one thing I’ve realized is how absolutely awful people in consulting and banking treat their colleagues.


@KaranTrivedi, Me too, man. Me too. It is fundamentally why I left. That, and seeing a Partner have a heart attack at 46 years of age.


@MartyRoss, Same here, director in my case. Stress induced heart attack. Partner texted him weeks after only to say “sucks you had to go through that whole ordeal” - the man was legally dead for 10 seconds, seems like more than an ordeal but that’s just me.


This work centric culture has got to chill out… we work to pay the bills. Work should be one of the least important pillars of our life.

Idk why we all are expected to sacrifice our one existence dedicated to doing work that is typically meaningless at the end of the day.

I see this same thing and it’s clear that people are looking for meaning and purpose in all the wrong places.


I recently went on vacation out of my hometown and man I ain’t looking back. Don’t want to be on my death bed saying oh I’m glad i worked so much and never got to experience the fun in life.


I agree but most often leadership is not working just to pay the bills. The success of the company directly impacts their own success. As you go further down the employee ladder that becomes less applicable except perhaps at start-ups. But even there, leadership has a few reasons in the form of multiple figures to work harder in order to better position the company.


Eh, not exactly. We work in order to contribute back meaningfully to society. It is the aggregate of work, and humans creating valuable things together which improves our quality of life and allows us to solve newer and harder problems.

As a society, we have determined that this exercise is valuable and reward this work with money as an abstraction of value created, whether that is for one person or a hundred million.

I think work can and should be one of the most important things you do in life, and if someone wasn’t working, they should still be contributing meaningfully back to the world in other ways. This is why billionaire’s get so much hate - they have the capacity to improve the world much more than they are but choose to indulge selfishly instead.

If we are not benefitting our species by contributing to its continued success and survival, our lives are indeed worthless.


I do believe there is work that is important and requires human sacrifice and I absolutely agree that we are designed as beings to contribute to society is one way or another.

My problem is when people lose themselves in pursuit of these things. You get ONE shot to live and fully embrace the beauty of life. When you’re working 14 hours a day over years building some SaaS product that is one of a million you gotta ask yourself, “is this worth giving up my one life”.

We got people working 3x more than they are spending with their children. Which btw is probably the most meaning contribution to society you can do.

Just a different perspective a guess.


Overworking is bad for a lot of reasons, but I was mainly responding to the idea that work should be one of the least important parts of our lives.


This is really bad. If they are working long hours they don’t know how to plan. They also don’t know how to hire. If they are all doing it they are probably just trying to avoid things going on in their persons lives.


Work SHOULD be one of the least important aspects of our lives. Our work can have purpose, but we don’t need to drive that purpose home enough that it kills us.

That’s not healthy for a society at all. What good is working crazy hours if you never enjoy the fruits of your labor?