18 Jan Work-Life Balance: A Need for Modern Day Leaders
“You will never feel truly satisfied by work until you are satisfied by life.”―Heather Schuck, The Working Mom Manifesto
We all come into the world with limited time. Each of us only has 24 hours in a day. However, how we manage that time determines the extent of our success and happiness in life.
There is a Common perception that work life balance is only needed for relatively junior employees and as one grows one should not be too much bothered about the work life balance. With higher salary brackets and higher perks, few senior leaders think that it’s not integral for them to think about work life balance.
The reality is that work life balance is needed for everybody and it’s rather more important for senior leaders as the level of stress at the top is far higher. In order to be more effective and efficient they need to learn and practice the art of balancing work and life
In the current context when everyone is working from home due to prevailing pandemic and boundary lines between work and home have become blurred, most of the leaders start very early and continue to work for late night hours.
The wheel of life
Our wheel of life has various different dimensions such as career (business), wealth, health, relationships, learning, contribution etc.
It’s important that all the dimensions of the wheel of life are very well nourished. Unfortunately, our focus is primarily on career and business and we seldom set goals in other dimensions of the wheel of life. This impacts the journey of life as it becomes bumpy. For example if we are fulfilled in the career dimension however have major relationship issues at home. On the other hand we have wealth and good net worth however there are health related challenges, then the journey of life will not be fulfilling and satisfying.
Work-life balance is nothing else but our ability to strike a right balance between these different aspects of the wheel of life.
Our Usual Tendency
In our culture everything revolves round success. The story starts right from our childhood when we start putting the stress on kids to get good marks. The focus both at school and home is not on learning but on getting the rank. The reason for this pressure is a fear, fear of not making it good in career.
Later as the kids complete their education and start their profession, the focus is again on getting success. One gets to figure out the significance of good health only when they experience a health problem on reaching middle age
In ours achievement oriented society, we grow up hearing phrases like
- Work is worship
- Money doesn’t grow on trees
- Hard work always pays
These are good societal conditionings, but we take it too seriously and the impact is that we end up becoming workaholics
What’s the way out?
If we really want to come out of this rut, we should become aware of the outcome of our unconscious actions.
When we become conscious about this, we start differentiating between important and less important things. And then start taking appropriate actions to balance the work and life.
Executive coaching process ignites this realization through four to six months long executive coaching journey.
The executive coach by asking powerful questions through a focused leadership coaching process facilitates these realizations:
- The leader realizes where they are in their life.
- Where are they in different dimensions of the wheel of life
- How is it impacting their various dimensions of life?
- What do they want (Their personal vision)?
- Are they going in the right direction?
- What is their current life style?
- What impact they are creating on others?
The Executive coach acts as an accountability partner, a mirror and a friend who positively challenges them and gently nudges them to strike the desired work life balance.
The net outcome of this focused executive coaching is to bring in harmony in their lives. ICF certified coaches facilitates more fulfillment, more happiness, more success, improved health and stronger relationships
As per Mahatma Gandhi
“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”
So before our incorrect beliefs overpower us and takes over our destiny, let’s resolve to strike a right balance between work and life.