People who put themselves in compromising situations outside the workplace, to the point where you worry about their health, admittedly might not be demonstrating the best judgment. But, is it any of my business?

Ben Bassi, our CEO, asked me the other day, 'When are you going to grow up?' That question stopped me in my tracks, and made me reflect a bit. I knew it was spoken in jest, but there was a serious element at the same time.

Would you hire me?For those who don't know me, I wouldn't survive a New England winter if not for the thrills of skiing. Before family and obligations, I recall counting 43 days of skiing in a season, but lately it's been a good year if I get out 2 or 3 days - beyond a corporate race league 8 Thursday nights each winter.

A couple years ago, on a trip in Utah, I had a crash that I can't explain without being dubbed an exaggerator. It would have been nice to have a GoPro video of the experience, not only to provide evidence, but it would have been incredible to see. What I can tell you is that while the doctors at the University of Utah Medical Center told me that it was rare to dislocate your hip anterior (out the front); it wasn't until my sister, who's also a doctor, told me that they never see it unless you're in a violent car accident that it kind of sunk in. I had someone watching over me that day and I'm thankful to be alive. This episode made me miss a week of work while I got a few extra days of room service in the most expensive suite I'll ever experience.

Flash forward two years later and, after a long road of recovery back to the slopes, I got word today that I tore my ACL and meniscus in my left knee while racing down the slopes last week. I've got surgery, bed rest, and physical therapy in my future. I'm not yet sure how this will impact my work schedule, but I'll likely miss at least a few days.

I'm not quite sure if I can ever slow down. I'm sure I'll get slower, but I think I'll always push what I'm capable of, whether personally or professionally. Otherwise, how do you know what you're capable of? God, I hope nothing like this happens again, but I doubt I'll ever be able to guarantee it. I'm sorry to my beautiful wife, Kim, but I think she's accepted this.

So this is where my question comes in 'Do you concern yourself with a job candidate's (legal) extra-curricular activities?' In the interview process, I've always asked what people do for fun just to see if I relate to them better, but I've never thought, 'Ooh, she rides a motorcycle and that's dangerous!' Do their activities impact the way you view them as potential employees? In fact, should they?

In Stephen Covey's famous book, 'The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People', he argues for a balanced approach, by what he calls Sharpening the Saw, to the four essential aspects of your life:

  1. Physical
  2. Social/Emotional
  3. Mental
  4. Spiritual

To sharpen the saw you must renew yourself in each of these areas, keeping yourself fresh in order to increase your ability to handle life's challenges. You can renew yourself by listening to music, skiing down a mountain, baking '- any activity which brings you joy and a sense of fulfillment. Do what's good for you.

If sharpening the saw makes you a better person, and skiing, or skydiving, or motorcycle racing is what sharpens your saw, do the benefits outweigh all other concerns?

What do you think?

Photo credit: Skistar Trysil / Foter / CC BY

Michael Reich
By Michael Reich

Enjoys being with his family of four in Bedford, NH. He would be a professional golfer if he had better aim or a ski racer if he was more aerodynamic. He's COO at Commonplaces and manages the team to provide customer success.

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