Let’s say you’re conducting an interview–perhaps just a phone screen at this point–for someone for a senior position. A very senior position. Let’s just say the conversation goes something like this:
Recruiter: Tell me about how you make decisions.
Candidate: Well, I gather the facts and then I go home and talk it over with my wife. She’s my top advisor.
Recruiter: Excuse me, but can you elaborate on that?
Candidate: I also invite her to my executive team meetings.
Recruiter: Is your wife also a [insert profession]?
Candidate: No, she’s [something irrelevant]. But I trust her judgment.
Recruiter: Thank you so much for your time, we’ll be in touch. Click.
Right? Wouldn’t you immediately label such a candidate as “whacky”? Who does that? I mean, really.
A good spouse can help you in your career–no doubt about that. But, even the most supportive and brilliant spouses shouldn’t be brought into your executive team meetings unless it’s a family owned business.
So, why do we put up with the “bringing in the spouse” in politics? Rudy Giuliani said he’d do it.
Former New York mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani told ABC News’s Barbara Walters that he would welcome his wife, Judith, at White House Cabinet meetings and other policy discussions if he were elected president next year.
“If she wanted to,” Giuliani said in the “20/20” interview to be broadcast tonight. “If they were relevant to something that she was interested in. I mean that would be something that I’d be very, very comfortable with.”
We wouldn’t put up with that in business, why do we put up with it in politics? Would Giuliani have been slammed if he’d said, “My wife is a wonderful person, but I’m running for office and I will be the one responsible to the people, not my wife.”
I’ll grant you that a good spouse can do wonders for you career. You want to move up in the company? You’ll do better if your spouse is willing to relocate with you. What about late nights? If your spouse is the primary caregiver for the children, you’ll have more options. But, invite your spouse to an executive team meeting? Not unless that is where you met–and most companies have rules against such behavior.
(Hat Tip Ann Althouse.)