WORK/LIFE BALANCE: MYTH OR REALITY

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Is Work/Life Balance Really Achievable the Higher Up the Leadership Ladder You Move?

Many leaders view a work/life balance as an ‘Ideal Utopia’, never to be fully realized or enjoyed. However, is that really the case? Is it truly mythical or can this ‘unicorn existence’ be incarnated and advocated within company culture?

At the highest levels of leadership, it can feel like a never relenting, 24/7 engagement, where the demands of company logistics and success can be the focal point of everything. However, does leadership always have to entail such inequity?
As many leaders are beginning to realize, the driving force as leaders to promote incessant hard work as the provider of all solutions, is no longer enough in the modern workspace. Not only does imbalance affect personal life, family cohesion, and inner self, but also has a direct affect on the workspace and team members as regard work performance, motivation and potential physical and mental health issues.

So… what is the recipe to create balance? How do we address the unicorn in the room and address work-life integration?

Of course, there is no secret recipe… and each leader will have their own methods… but what are some of the starting points towards identifying a balanced life?

Whatever the route, an essential aspect is to be inclusive, ensuring to involve team members into the planning of that realization. The same can be said of being courageous in applying risk-assessment into future planning to foresee uncertainties and to put in place proactive measures. The phrase, ‘Everything in Moderation’, could become many leaders’ mantra, however, I much prefer to use ‘Inclusive for All’…

For example as leaders, we all believe in the value of calendars and keeping things on track… How many of us include everything on that calendar? As in-all areas of our life, not just work-related appointments, including family, friends, interests and time for travel or introspective reflection such as meditation or retreat, plus self-development… providing a snapshot of a full life. To also include family in this process is an essential aspect of integrating our work and home lives, creating a transparency, an understanding, and a shared experience.

We often acknowledge that an aspect of integration is devising priorities, however this process can often lead to team members grieving over their area being overlooked and subsequently feeling demoralized and inept. Perhaps then, compartmentalizing areas of work and desired outcomes of success can in some way enable teams to embrace and share ownership and balance the load.

Of course, these are mere starting points and by no means provide instant solutions. However, what are you doing as a leader to keep on top of your life and to balance what matters? What level of importance do you place on integrating what matters to you to feel fulfilled?

Feel free to share your experiences of Work/Life Balance in your leadership journey…

I’d enjoy hearing about your views and feedback… feel free to add your input and ideas…

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