I have a book on my office shelf entitled “Perfectionism…Sure Cure For Happiness”. The reason this is important is that, having performed almost 100 culture assessments in funeral service I know that perfectionism is the dominant industry neurosis.

Yes, I agree, “Funeral Service Is In The Details”. But it’s how we measure performance that gets it all cockamamie. In funeral service there is a fundamental, prevailing belief that colors our judgment of ourselves and others:

“A good funeral director works long, erratic hard hours.”

In fact, the most common badge of honor is between 60 & 70 hours a week. Now, I am not saying that there are not times when working 60 hours is necessary. But I will say, as I approach 40 years experience, that there are times when it is not. More important, is that the drive to honor this standard frequently produces guilt when one is not at work. This lack of work/life balance leads to family disappointment and guilt and a rising sense of burnout.

In recent years the consulting side of my practice has grown as I help people who still like what they do very much but are plain tired from the work and responsibility of owning a business. Helping the business run more efficiently is often easy. But the real work is in helping owners figure out how they can achieve a better work/life balance. And the single most common barrier to that is guilt. And my greatest champion is the spouse who has seen it all along.

Peter Drucker once observed:

“What is the major problem? It is fundamentally the confusion between effectiveness and efficiency that stands between doing the right things and doing things right. There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency that which should not be done at all.”

What would I do?

 Outside of hiring me to help you center and refocus and “get a life”, I would buy the book “E-myth” by Michael Gerber, take 3 days off in a quiet place (leave your cell phone at home) and read it. You should come away with some serious personal insights and that is where you must begin…with you.

One is often faced with choices. One choice will lead to resentment. The other choice will lead to guilt. Always choose guilt.