I read a lot these days about work/life balance.
My wife is invariably asked about balancing work and family commitments whenever she speaks to women’s groups.
Here is what it means for me …
I talk about “Life Balance” … not about Life/Work balance. Its all part of one life … and everything in my life is intertwined:
1. Like most people I very often make friends through work … so if I’m with “work friends” am I working?
2. I met my wife at work.
3. My wife is my business partner.
4. Many times I attend events in my capacity as CEO of the company, but they are social in nature.
5. I get a lot of pleasure from achievements in my life … whether they are “work related” or more personal in nature, but very often they are intertwined. Recently I boxed in a charity match, four months of training, some bloodied noses and black eyes, a high level of fitness and a strong sense of achievement … but I was doing it as CEO of Eagle. Was that work?
6. I value life-long learning as keeping my brain active, keeping me engaged and alive .. this can be work related, or other activities but I gain pleasure from it.
7. I place a high value on my family, I don’t miss key events, if I missed one event in my kid’s lives I don’t remember it, I coached them both in soccer, attended everything they were involved with, see them regularly and enjoy their company often … but my work has never suffered.
8. I have enjoyed some success at work, have been a business owner and CEO for almost 15 years, work long hours but I get great satisfaction from my success and financially my family is able to do things we might not have been able to do had I not made the sort of commitment needed for that success.
I mentioned that Janis always gets asked about work/life balance when talking to women’s groups … and it drives her nuts. How often do I get asked that question in my peer groups? Actually .. never! We run companies and we have busy lives … like I said yesterday, busy people find a way to fit their high priority items in!
So … I have one life with many parts to it, my job, my family, my health, my fitness, my hobbies, my learning etc. My happiness, contentment and feeling of achievement comes from all aspects of my life. So I strive for a balanced LIFE … not Work/Life balance.
Does that make sense?
Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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