I have never bought into the whole “your life must be in balance” concept. Jugglers keep things in balance, temporarily, but eventually the balls come tumbling down. Ever tried to balance a teeter-totter, boring! It’s much more fun trying to launch each other into the sky. So it’s refreshing to hear more and more successful people extolling the virtues of imbalance.
Just last week I listened to Kevin Roberts, CEO World Wide of Saatchi and Saatchi speak to the power of work/life integration. And a few weeks ago I heard Kevin O’Leary, of Dragon’s Den fame, speak to the importance of a singular focus.
Lets face it, leaving “work at the office” or “family at home” is a ridiculous strategy. I am one person, with one life. Failures or victories at work/home make up whom I am. Trying to leave one or the other behind puts you at odds with reality and only leads to stress.
I believe in temporary periods of imbalance. These periods of “focus” are required to get things done. Getting things done, executing, building, is gratifying. Gratification is fulfillment and fulfillment is happiness.
There are times when family, business and personal each requires more focused attention than the other. And times when aspects of each sway out of balance.
My six-year-old son is entering a period where he needs my attention more intently. This will be an important year for him (grade one, first encounters with peer pressure and bullying) a time that I can help him to understand confusing situations. So, this year I will spend more time with Rocco than my other children.
The past two years I spent more time with my oldest daughter. As her soccer coach I was able to support her through awkward moments, overcoming her shyness and learning how to become a great teammate. My third child’s time will come and the cycle will continue. To date, no one has been damaged by the imbalance, the entire family new what was going on, the plans where transparent and “integrated”
My work knows when my family takes precedence. My staff knew when I was coaching Rosalie. We talked about Rosalie’s victories and failures on the field, I blogged about it and they enjoyed hearing about it. If I didn’t integrate my work with my family they would have wondered “why is Dave leaving early, he’s not working as hard? He’s not as passionate about the business!”
As we look to expand Wolfgang in the near future. Definitely, a period of time where business requires my intent focus is coming. My wife and I have talked about this and we are aligned. It’s going to be fun, exciting, and stressful. I won’t be around the house as much, work/life will be in a period of imbalance but my family will be along for the ride.