Our Philosophy about the Pursuit of Truth Includes Your Health
Business cultures around the world vary greatly between countries, and between organizations. One common trait among highly successful executives, however, is that they skew their work/life balance heavily toward work. They pour 10-12 hours each day into work, work on weekends, and think about work when they are supposed to be decompressing and “working” on their family relationships and friendships.
In our own work with clients, we stress a rebalancing of the work/life balance back toward life. This is not because we think family and friends are more important than your job (that is your decision to make), but because the truth is that a better balance actually makes you more effective at what you do as a leader.
As part of the Pursuit of Truth facet of our Foundations of Excellence leadership philosophy, you must be frank about how you are leading yourself! Part of leading yourself more effectively is listening to your body and responding to its signals. This LinkedIn post by Vivek Wadhwa, a serial entrepreneur who literally almost worked himself to death, drives this point home for us.
Why can’t hard-driving people stop and take a breath occasionally and recharge their batteries?
- They fear the competition. (If someone is working harder than you, they might surpass you!)
- They have a lot to do, and must get it all done.
- They love to work, and struggle with personal time.
- They struggle to delegate. (The idea that someone may be working an important part of your project without close supervision makes you nervous.)
We work with clients to help them work smarter:
- They realize that true personal time gains you energy that makes working hours more productive.
- We also try to instill greater trust in subordinates, most of whom are quite talented and just waiting to get a chance to perform independently.
- Finally, time away spurs creativity. Again and again we see the people who take time off come back and solve perplexing issues more quickly and creatively because their mind had a chance to take a break, think in fresh directions, and reorder data more clearly.
It takes a while to instill this more productive leadership mindset into hard working managers and executives, but the proof is in the results: More and better work getting done in less time.
Have you had a unexpected event (positive ones included) that made you realize you had to reset your work/life balance. Let us know what the result was.