One leader of a business spends more than sixty hours a week at work. When she finally leaves in the evening, well after 5 o’clock, she acknowledges the other “warriors” who are still at the office. What is this leader communicating? What organizational climate is she creating? What climate do you want to create?
An extraordinary leader knows the importance of finding balance between work and life and models its importance. I prefer to think of it as work/life integration. Of course there are times when work is “all consuming” and there are other times when our personal life demands our total attention. Balance? If our lives were perfectly balanced, we would be bored.
What is the best use of my time? Ask this question often. If you are spending your precious time on tasks that some one else can do (maybe better), you are wasting your time and not taking advantage of your team members’ strengths.
According to Bloomberg Business Week employees are seeking out companies that offer greater work life balance and work harder for those that do. Whether I am coaching a C Level Executive, an Emerging Leader, or an Entrepreneur – work/life balance always comes up. In our coaching sessions I ask my clients to rate for satisfaction each of these areas of life:
- Personal Health/Wellness
- Mental Health
- Physical Environment
First, I want to know how satisfied the client is with each area of life. Second, what percent of their time do they spend in each area? Overwhelmingly, the first comment during the feedback is, “I’m not having enough fun.” This exercise paints a clear picture of how the client is spending their time. Reflecting on this picture, the client can then choose to make adjustments.
How do you know if you are out of balance? You are tired and your productivity declines. You realize that you are losing time with friends and family. If you spend extra hours at work, expectations may increase which lead to more concerns and challenges.
The multigenerational workplace of today requires that leaders look at leadership and time management through new lenses. Veterans and boomers want to get the job done, no matter how much time it takes. Gen X’ers and Y’ers want to get the job done, but not at the risk of losing balance and time with family. “Burning the midnight oil” is not a concept they understand – or accept.
What is the best use of your time a leader? Are you making wise choices in regard to your own work/life balance and serving as a positive role model for your team?