Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Stand on solid ground!

There is tremendous pressure on all of us to 'perform'; that is, to live up to expectations...typically someone else's expectations. This reality seems to exist regardless of the role we play.  Whether it is one of leadership, manager, or employee.  Sales, accounting, shipping.  We push and push ourselves to exhaustion.  And then we push some more.

We have electronic calendars to remind us.  We have smart phones to tether us.  We have goals to motivate us.

Sadly, despite our best qualities and characteristics; despite our skills, education and training; despite the warnings that our bodies often display; very few of us have truly found balance in our lives. 

Why is it that we adjust our lifestyles only after the heart attack.  Why do we realize an incorrect emphasis on work after  the divorce papers are served.  Why do we acknowledge that our priorities were misplaced after  the severance package has been presented.

It is extremely difficult to get yourself out of the 'now'.  The snowball has a way of building itself as it tumbles downhill. But what will it take for you to step back from the precipice?  It needn't be a tragedy if you only take some time to establish some balance in your life today.

Believe me, I have chased the golden ring.  But I always believed that if I was not able to get the job done in a normal day's work (routinely), then one of two things was probably true.  The first was that I was not doing the work properly in which case I needed to  get better trained and prepared.  Or the second was that the job was too demanding, in which case I needed  a different job.  In either case, simply putting in more hours was not an option.  I was being paid to perform a function, not to sacrifice my life.

Where are you on the scale of lifestyle balance?  Are you headed for the tombstone that reads "...I wish I had spent more hours at the office...". 

As leaders, one of our primary responsibilities is to create and execute a sustainable and achievable strategic plan and vision for the company or for our business unit.  We dedicate an enormous amount of time and effort in the research and implementation of these goals. 

But how many of us have taken the time to do the same kind of prioritizing in our personal lives?  You would be amazed at how easily you can incorporate both work and personal demands, when you take the time to plan. 

Start by remembering that none of us, literally not a single one of us, is indispensable. If that thought seems foreign to you just imagine what would happen if you were hit by a bus.  Much to your surprise and chagrin, the world will not end if you are absent.  Others will adjust; life will go on.

Find the balance.  You may be surprised at how much better you perform at the office when you really do stop and smell the roses!