Just imagine for a moment if corporate America insisted that you take large quantities of marijuana, cocaine, alcohol or some other drug until you are addicted. Let us assume that the only way you would be able to keep your job is by giving in to this addiction. Here is what would happen; the entire nation would be in an uproar. We would have anarchy and the Federal Government would have to step in and make sweeping changes.

We have a situation similar to this occurring in corporate America today folks. Moreover, people are falling prey to an addiction that is far worse than alcoholism or drug abuse. The problem is so widespread among people in their thirties, forties and fifties that it has the potential to have more severe and farther-reaching effects on an entire younger generation who are growing up without parental guidance.

Today’s society often parades the term ‘workaholic’ as a catch phrase or a badge of honor. Few recognize that addiction to work can be more dangerous than the addiction to drugs or alcohol.

When most of us think of an addict, we usually visualize one of two stereotypes.

a. The unshaven, unkempt bum huddled in a dirty room doing drugs or drinking alcohol from a bottle hidden in a brown paper bag.

b. The person at a bar drinking until they are thrown out of the bar into the street where they urinate and/or defecate all over themselves.

Rarely do we see a busy executive or a management consultant who simply cannot start their day without several cups of coffee as an addict.

We usually think of an addict as being someone addicted to a drug, but there are many kinds of addiction. There are of course substance addictions, such as to alcohol, drugs, nicotine, caffeine and food. However, everyday activities such as accumulating money, sex, work, religion and worry can become event or process addictions.

One often wonders if the workaholic is an addict why does not society do something about this addiction. The fundamental problem is that Corporate America often views the workaholic’s hard work as superior performance, so they are rewarded for their hard work.

I often hear management consultants bragging that they worked a seventy hour week. A management consultant recently came up to me and said that they did not go home for three days in order to complete an assignment. I could not fathom why this person was bragging.

I caution the reader not to confuse hard work for workaholism. People can work hard and not be workaholics. Hard workers are able to maintain an appropriate balance between work and personal times. Workaholics on the other hand, have no time for personal times.

A detailed treatise about workaholism and work-life balance can be found in The Corporate America Survival Handbook. ISBN: 1598000942.


Dr. Uchil is an entrepreneur, business-owner and author embodying almost three decades of management and consulting experience. Prior to founding The Uchil Group and Uchil, LLC, Dr. Uchil spent over eighteen years in a variety of senior management roles at several large consulting organizations. In addition to his PhD in Business Administration Dr. Uchil also holds an MBA in Consulting Operations Management, a BSEE in Electrical Engineering and a Diploma in Electronics and Telecommunicati...

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