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“How Extremely Busy Executives Make Time To Be Great Parents”, With Dr. Ely Weinschneider & Jesse Bagley

Spending time with your children shows them that they are the most important human beings in your life. This does so much for their self-esteem. You’ll also continue to develop your relationship with them so that they feel comfortable talking to you about anything. I believe this will become even more important as they get […]

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Spending time with your children shows them that they are the most important human beings in your life. This does so much for their self-esteem. You’ll also continue to develop your relationship with them so that they feel comfortable talking to you about anything. I believe this will become even more important as they get into their teenage years, but the nuggets are planted early on when you spend quality time with them. At the end of the day, they love trips and gifts, but they really want distraction-free quality time with their parents.


As a part of my series about “How extremely busy executives make time to be great parents” I had the pleasure to interview Jesse Bagley.

Jesse Bagley is the founder and chief executive officer of PeopleSpace (formerly IOS). In 2000 at age 24, Jesse founded Interior Office Solutions (IOS) as a bootstrapped contract office furniture dealership startup in Irvine, California, representing Kimball and an array of ancillary manufacturers. IOS was founded on the concept of building a great team, providing clients with the best service in the industry, and creating long-lasting relationships. In 2006, IOS became a Haworth Preferred Dealer. Aggressive growth continued, and the company now has locations in Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles, and Irvine in addition to five additional entities focused on the custom product, moveable wall and logistics/warehousing/service business. In 2019, global furniture manufacturer Haworth became an investor, and IOS has rebranded the company under the name PeopleSpace.

In his position as CEO, Jesse oversees the strategic and financial direction of PeopleSpace, and actively looks for expansion and growth opportunities to continue to shape PeopleSpace as a world class contract furniture integrator that focuses on well-being and culture.

Away from the office, Jesse enjoys spending time with his wife Amy and three young children, as well as playing golf, snowboarding and collecting fine wine. He is a Chapter Chair of the Golden West chapter of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), is a past Chair and serves on the executive committee and board of Boys Hope Girls Hope of Southern CA, and is the Chairman of the Rising Leaders Council at Segerstrom Center for the Arts (SCFTA). He has also served as the President of Haworth’s Dealer Council and as the Chairman of the High-Performance Dealer Alliance (HPDA). Additionally, Jesse was honored as the recipient of the Rising Leader Award at SCFTA’s Arts and Business Leadership Awards.


Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us your “childhood backstory”?

Igrew up in the tiny town of Bonners Ferry, Idaho on a five-acre farm-like setting. I was homeschooled and have two younger siblings.

Can you share the story about what brought you to this specific point in your career?

I moved to Southern California after graduating with a degree in engineering at age 20. Shortly after moving to Orange County, California, I stumbled into contract furniture sales while working as a fine dining waiter. Four years later, I founded Interior Office Solutions in Irvine and grew the business over the last 19 years from a small startup to a large organization with multiple locations over a West Coast footprint.

Can you tell us a bit more about what your day to day schedule looks like?

My schedule really varies. I travel often to our locations throughout the West Coast. When I’m in town, I typically wake up early and handle any Eastern time zone communications. This allows me to make breakfast for the kids (Weston (9), Charlotte (7) and Juliette (4)) and take them to school. My wife is an architect and has her own firm, so our family has a very hectic schedule. Our routine is typically me handling the mornings with the kids and her handling the afternoons with school pickup. My primary goal is making myself available for my children at all times, and making sure I block out time to attend recitals, practices, games, birthday parties, etc.

My calendar is more a life calendar, not a work calendar. I believe in commitment to my family, as if they were my largest client. Just like I wouldn’t miss a meeting with one of PeopleSpace’s largest clients, I don’t miss important family events.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the core of our discussion. This is probably intuitive to many, but it would be beneficial to spell it out. Based on your experience or research, can you flesh out why not spending time with your children can be detrimental to their development?

It’s important to teach kids at an early age that it’s possible to be successful, share time with family, have some personal time, and enjoy life all at the same time. If you show them by example that it’s possible to balance life and work, they’ll learn that as a life skill and take that with them. They also will learn time management skills which will help them in whatever they do in life. If they don’t learn these skills early in life, it’s difficult to learn these life skills later or “on the job.”

On the flip side, can you give a few reasons or examples about why it is so important to make time to spend with your children?

Spending time with your children shows them that they are the most important human beings in your life. This does so much for their self-esteem. You’ll also continue to develop your relationship with them so that they feel comfortable talking to you about anything. I believe this will become even more important as they get into their teenage years, but the nuggets are planted early on when you spend quality time with them. At the end of the day, they love trips and gifts, but they really want distraction-free quality time with their parents.

According to this study cited in the Washington Post, the quality of time spent with children is more important than the quantity of time. Can you give a 3–5 stories or examples from your own life about what you do to spend quality time with your children?

I know my children crave time — that’s what kids do. So, I schedule one-on-one time with each child as much as possible. Most recently Weston and I went to San Francisco and spent an entire two days together, including a workday, seeing the sights of the city and attending a Monday Night Football game. I knew we both needed the time to stay connected. I recently took Charlotte on an overnight trip to Legoland so we could bond and spend quality time having fun together. I find these overnight one-on-one adventures quickly become my children’s absolute favorite memories.

We all live in a world with many deadlines and incessant demands for our time and attention. That inevitably makes us feel rushed and we may feel that we can’t spare the time to be “fully present” with our children. Can you share with our readers 5 strategies about how we can create more space in our lives in order to give our children more quality attention? Please include examples or stories for each, if you can.

  1. Take a break from technology and sit in a quiet space to think and plan for both your personal and business life. I call this a “clarity break.”
  2. Plan one-on-one overnight trips or days together. Make a plan and do it! Things like Legoland, Disneyland, the theater, or whatever interests you and your children. Just plan something that will make you laugh and enjoy each other, and fill your minds with memories.
  3. Create a life calendar — not a work calendar — and block time and make time for your kids.
  4. When you’re with your kids be fully with them. Don’t multi-task (and work) during “their” time.
  5. Be there for them no matter what.

How do you define a “good parent”? Can you give an example or story?

A good parent is treating your children as if they are truly the most important thing to you (in actions, not just in words).

How do you inspire your child to “dream big”? Can you give an example or story?

I let them try everything. Only in their minds is anything too big to accomplish. I support them regardless of my own personal bias. They are human beings and know what they want. The only way to know if you can do something is to try it.

How do you, a person who masterfully straddles the worlds of career and family, define “success”?

Success is defined as treating your children with the utmost dignity and respect, always making time for them, and raising them to know that they can come to me at any time. They can count on me to be their biggest advocate. In the future, I believe success will be defined by my children still needing a close relationship with me and having them drive that closeness.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better parent? Can you explain why you like them?

Young Presidents Organization (YPO) has been a great resource. They have a parenting network for C-Suite executives. I’m a member of the YPO Golden West chapter — we all meet as families, share insights and travel together. We trust one another and share insights on work-life balance. Being a CEO and a parent can be challenging. It’s nice to have a group of peers who understand these challenges.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I tell my kids character is what you do when no one is looking. How you treat people defines who you are, and good character defines success.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

It needs to be more socially acceptable for C-Suite executives to spend time with their children and families. Executives need to be able to share the joys and excitement of their children without guilt for blocking time on their calendars to do so. It doesn’t make us less of who we are. It means we’re human and that we care about what is most important in life.

Thank you so much for these insights! This was so inspiring!

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