Wins all round.
The CEO of Dentons for the UK, Ireland and Middle East has received plaudits for revealing that he dropped a meeting to watch his children play football instead.
"I cancelled an internal meeting last week at the last minute", revealed Paul Jarvis in a Father's Day post on LinkedIn.
"My only excuse was that I really wanted to watch both my sons play football. I had major dad guilt. I was honest with my colleague who simply replied - 'that’s not an excuse, that’s a great justification'."
The Dentons boss continued, "I missed a meeting. The world didn’t stop spinning. I’m not that important".
"Every now and again we all need a little reminder that whilst work is important, nothing is more important than friends and family", he concluded. "#work #family #motivation #mentalhealth".
When an accountant at Capita complained that "we are not all CEOs" and that "of course [a] subordinate will tell you that", Jarvis replied that it wasn't a subordinate who approved of his decision to cancel the meeting, and that he would have "no issues with a colleague doing the same, and would actively encourage it".
Challenged by another poster to clarify whether cancelling the meeting "would inconvenience others who would then have to reschedule it, maybe at a time that impacts their family", and whether "the reaction from colleagues would be so positive from a junior woman", Jarvis reassured her, "I would encourage male and female colleagues at all levels to do the same".
Jarvis ended up responding individually to a number of dubious followers to press home the message that he would he happy for any Dentons employee, and not just those in senior management positions, to drop (non-business critical) meetings in order to see their families.
He was also asked about the football. "My 5 year old asked me whether I saw him score 'top bins'. I was very glad to say that I did!", replied Jarvis.
Dozens of people applauded his message, among them staff who were happy to see their leader advocating for family to be put first.
Dentons' Global Social Media Manager congratulated the CEO on his "wonderful leadership", while its Global Director of Innovation Programs noted that "We’re very fortunate to have you leading Dentons UKIME", and its Europe Director commented that "That's true leading by example!"
Dentons lawyers also registered their approval. "Great post", said a paralegal. "This is true #leadership with #heart and makes good #business sense Paul Jarvis. Thank you", added a senior counsel.
However, Dentons wasn’t quite as expansive as its CEO when RollOnFriday got in touch.
"Paul's LinkedIn post really reflects the firm's view that working practices have changed over the past year, and we want to embrace that rather than fight it", said a spokesman.
"Our new 'you choose' working location policy enables colleagues to have more flexibility to schedule non-critical work commitments such as internal meetings around other things that are important to them, so long as we continue to always deliver for our clients. So yes, we do want to support colleagues as they juggle work and family commitments".
"Paul would also like to confirm that his 5 year old son scored a hat trick and it cost him an ice cream", added the spokesman.