Work-Life Balance

6 Easy Ways to Achieve a Healthier Work-Life Balance

Work-Life Balance

Something in which every person craves is a healthy, successful working-life balance. But finding and maintaining this worshiped ideal is often trickier said than done.

As you advanced into different stages of your career and life, many tasks will become harder to juggle and balance becomes more difficult to do.

Leading a Busy Schedule

Many articles promote how to defeat this struggle and achieve the healthy-working life desired; but how can you do this when leadership and workmanship is the core to your existence?

Here are a few leadership tips to entwine into your busy schedule:

1. Stop aiming for the unachievable

When the unavoidable occurs to your current situation, it’s normal to see a heavier measure of work or life depending on circumstances present. Start to aim for a work-life unity. It may sound strange, but a change of wording can change the perspective you have upon your busy schedule. The feel of being unbalanced is overbearing.

2. Throw those to-do lists away

You need to throw the different work and life to-do lists away, this may be contributing to the overwhelming feeling of unbalance. Instead, create one schedule which lists everything in one place. This will help to build a bridge and create the unity you pursue.

3. Don’t fight transition periods

Sometimes, experiencing a period of transition is inevitable. Perhaps you’re to gain a promotion, expecting a baby, or caring for a sick family member, it’s normal to feel beaten by such life changes. Rather than combating the stress of juggling such priorities, sit down and put together a plan of action. Learn how such things will affect your work and schedule the flexible around the obstacles.

4. Reflect on your progressions

Once a week take a purposeful reflection on your current being. Analyse where your time is being spent and learn how you can spend your time better in order to progress. If you’re constantly stressed with juggling such life commitments the quality of your work will suffer.

5. Make time for yourself

Every piece of technology has an off button and you should use it. It’s not easy whilst living in the 21st century, but now and again you should unplug and re-energise. If you’re out with friends, be involved and not on your mobile devise. A great treasure for leaderships to achieve is a new outlook on things. Once you realise that it isn’t important to make it all work, as it is to make things for you, you will excel at living the unity lifestyle.

6. Remember your employees

Most leaders feel that they’re constantly ‘on the job’, these leaders, more often than not, are stressed due to such self-pledges. Whereas leaders who combine working with fun and promote such activities are happy with their circumstances. This working manifesto is then replicated through employees. Be the latter, and achieve unity.

So what other tips can you add to this list. I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Dawn Ellis

Dawn Ellis Digital Content Manager at alldayPA
She helps engage clients with Value-Added Answering Services
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healing heart

On Leadership and Healing: Striving for Wellness

Healing Hands

We often speak about service and leadership and even servant leadership, but the original word to serve in Greek, the language of the New Testament, was the word “therapy,” that expressed the idea of leading, serving, taking care of, and healing.

 In the New Testament, leadership had two components or facets: teaching and healing. If teaching was the content vision, it was authenticated in healing.

Leadership That Serves and Saves

But, to heal in Greek means to protect from harm, to benefit, to preserve inner integrity, to rescue from harm; these are all aspects of leadership that serves and saves. Leading and healing are two aspects of the same reality that focuses on integrated, holistic approaches to people and their organizations.

Leadership that heals restores harmony within individuals, between people, and within structures, and frees people from unhealthy living.

Health and wholeness are basic, primary values for all human beings, and people see sickness and dysfunctional responses as undesirable obstacles to happiness and fulfillment in life. When health and wholeness are absent people seek explanations and remedies, and when these are not forthcoming they suspect that there are forces beyond themselves, working against them.

Whatever the explanation of sickness, people long for healing. A leader of hope who is attentive to organizational dysfunctioning should feel called to heal. He or she must be sensitive to others’ needs, be a voice for the voiceless, and stress that successful organizations require holistic living.

A leader of hope who wants to have a healing effect on an organization must listen to workers’ stories and anger, call them to community health and wellness, and teach how wellness, leisure, health, personal or organizational growth, and business effectiveness are closely related to each other.

Striving For Wellness

In dealing with others and organizations, leaders strive for wellness, a concept that means the best one can be at any given time. Individuals and organizations come with the baggage of their history, and a good leader cannot expect from followers immediate exemplary responses to his or her challenges.

The first stage in healing is to stop negative influences, the slow erosion of values, and the corrupt influences of power.

Then, healing also includes efforts to end destructive practices such as confrontational positions, neglect of workers, coercion of followers, harassment, paying for support, outright fraud, controlling management teams with salaries or threats regarding job security, dividing to conquer, and using people rather than collaborating with them.

A leader who heals confronts any crisis of quality, changes in standards, neglect of traditional values, and does so because he or she recognizes we are all capable of evil, we often know our flaws and do nothing about them, we live with false values or reduced ideals, and we need illumination and healing.

Managing Wellness

Wellness is more than the absence of dysfunctions in individuals and organizations. It is a holistic concept that includes physical, social, and spiritual components. People can work at wellness through self-motivation and healthy practices.

Components of wellness include a positive outlook on life, basic personal and organizational skills, a sense of purpose, respect and love for each other, being in tune with one’s environment, and having a plan for balanced living.

Like other aspects of organizational life, a leader can manage wellness.

A leader who heals gives special attention to emotions, whether job or people related, identifying causes and potential reactions, and making sure he or she channels positive emotions and controls negative ones. Among the former are acceptance, joy, trust, surprise, satisfaction, and among the latter are fear, anger, hatred, rage, pride, jealousy, sadness, and loss. Each of these has many manifestations.

For example, people can have fear of failure, of embarrassment, of disappointing others, of resentment of leaders, of lack of respect, and of losing self-confidence.

  • Leadership is almost impossible for those who lack the ability to react to these emotions.
  • Leaders of hope partner with followers, understand their emotions, and raise them up to their potential.
  • They have faith in their followers, see they attain their own hopes and contribute to the organization’s, and love them enough to seek what is best for them.

A Leader of Hope

A leader of hope constantly asks what individuals and the organization would be like if all were functioning well. The organization’s product or service, its workers, management, and structure should all perform well. This does not mean there are not irritants in the group who do not think or act the way others do.

They, too, receive healing acceptance and affirmation, for the group needs energy that comes from differences.

Wellness within an organization will include trust, ethics, protection within the working environment, truth-telling, financial integrity, mutual respect, mutual pride, patience with each other, and a sense of responsibility for each other and for the organization. A spiritual leader can achieve much when he or she concentrates on on healing when dealing with others and organizations.

So, how are you doing at leading hope, fostering wellness, and insuring healing with the people in your organization? What can you do to strengthen your “empathy muscles” so that you can be that healing leader that keeps your organization healthy? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Dr. Leonard Doohand

Dr. Leonard Doohan  is an Author and Workshop Presenter
He focuses on issues of spiritual leadership
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Hey Leader: Whose Expectations Are You Trying to Meet?

Expectations

Sometimes, a question can strike you with such clarity that it remains with you for life.

The following question was posed to me early in my management career and is one that has provided deep insight up until this day:

“Whose expectations are you trying to meet?”

The Super Syndrome

After another exhausting week, I attended a community seminar based on the Superwoman Syndrome by Marjorie Hansen Shaevitz. this seminar’s topic referred to women holding themselves to unrealistic expectations to simultaneously be the best career women, mothers, spouses, community members , etc.

Today it could easily be the Superman & Superwoman Syndrome as advertising and media routinely throws images of being the best parent, partner, leader, global conscious servant, etc. Just look at Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie.

If they can raise their kids, solve world issues, be block buster professionals and stand by each other why can’t we all?

Just forget that they are exhausted and have a few personal challenges.

Getting Really Real

Eventually Something Has to Give

At work everyone wants something from you: your boss, your peers, internal customers, external customers, the Board, the stockholders.

They all act as if “No” is not an option.

But in the real world, if you treat all their expectations as equal, then you will most certainly burn out and never meet many of your stated goals. The old adage “you can’t please everyone” is true.

If you try to meet everyone’s expectations at least one of those attempts will result in lower than anticipated quality and both of you won’t be feeling too great about the outcome.

If you can’t physically and mentally do it all, what is going to move to a lower priority? If you let your stakeholders define this for you, you will continue in the land of the tyranny of the urgent. Whatever is the next thing screaming for attention will get your time.

Gaining Real Focus

Stop the Spinning

If you are already spinning from the long list of things you supposedly “have to do,” then your response to my advice to take time to analyze your work is going to be “but I don’t have time.”

Which is more painful; making time to narrow your focus and be able to say “no” to some requests, or continuing to spin at the pace you are at?

In all likelihood if you continue without taking a more strategic view your pace of spinning will increase because the number of people asking you for support will increase. By always saying “yes” you have reinforced them and others that you will always be there to help regardless of the request.

You have essentially created your own problem.

Getting Real Results

Get Out the Pen and Paper

List all the activities you are doing and the ones you anticipate doing this year.

  • Which of these services, products, activities are essential to the company meeting it’s vision?
    • Which of these am I the sole source for (no one else in the company can provide this)?
  • Which activities, products, services are not related to the vision?
    • What drives me to provide each of these activities, products or services?
    • What could happen if I stopped providing these?
      • What would really happen if I stopped providing these (75%+ confidence that it would occur)?
    • What could I, my key stakeholders and my company gain if I stopped these activities?
      • Which of these gains are of higher value than the activity itself?  (this will serve as your compelling reason to stop offering this service or support)

Gaining Real Perspective

Letting Go

If you are still reluctant to take something off your plate that is not of high value, ask yourself these questions:

  • What personal need(s) does providing this service or activity fulfill?
  • What makes this need so compelling for me?
  • Is there another way to fulfill this need with the more critical activities, products or services?

Here is a great example:

Jack is in a support function. He spends 2 hours each week in one of his key stakeholders staff meetings. He started attending to learn more about the stakeholder’s business and to be present in case some need related to his function was raised. Rarely does this need show up. He already has learned about his stakeholder’s business but he keeps attending for reasons of visibility, status and perceived customer service.

After doing the exercise he realizes that spending the 2 hours each week on the projects directly tied to the vision, will bring him greater visibility. He talks to the senior leader about his rationale for no longer attending and offers to sets up a 15-minute monthly check in meeting to ensure their needs are met.

Three months later, Jack’s increased quality and creativity on the strategic project is gaining him visibility at the executive level and meeting his personal desire for greater status.

Gaining Real Satisfaction

Expectations vs. Vision

Shifting from trying to meet everyone’s expectations to meeting the company’s vision and your personal vision will keep you a valued asset to the business and yourself.

Whenever someone asks you to do something, instead of immediately answering yes, respond that you need time to assess priority.

So how has this process, or something similar, or something different helped you to manage your time and energy? Have you changed to become more realistic in setting appropriate expectations? What can you do in the future to better examine your personal set of expectations and use that model to better understand and help others? I would love to hear your thoughts!

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Carlann Fergusson

Carlann Fergusson is owner at Propel Forward LLC
She provides seminars and consulting on Strategic Leadership Challenges
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Leaders: It’s Not All About the Money

Obsessed with Money

It is time that all of us get into the 21st Century about motivation and driving high-performance in the workplace.  

Over 20 years of research about what motivates people and teams to perform at their highest levels, have consistently shown that it is not money.

What Motivates Us

Yes, it’s true.  Money is not a primary motivator for a highly engaged and high performance workplace.  There are many Organization Development, Human Resources, and other professionals that understand this fact.

The research that leads us to this conclusion includes, but is not limited to:

Research from the Daniel Pink’s book, Drive:

  • Autonomy – the desire to direct our own lives.
  • Mastery— the urge to get better and better at something that matters.
  • Purpose — the yearning to do what we do in the service of something larger than ourselves; not money.

Research conducted by, The Coffman Organization:

As a matter of fact, it is likely that the pursuit of money alone is a motivator that leads people and organizations down the wrong path (see EnronWall Street, Jimmy Hoffa, etc.).

It could be why leaders layoff instead of innovate, or why employees skip safety for speed.

 Is money important?

Yes, but it will not encourage those elements that turn into an organization’s strategic advantage(s).

No Money?

Money plays a factor only in that people need to be paid a fair wage.

If employees are fairly compensated for the work they do, and it is clear that this is the case, it generally is not a primary motivator.

The underlying issue regarding money and pay is that people really base what they believe about pay in relationship to those around them (or in their industry).

If you are paying one engineer $10 and another $100 for doing the exact same job, then money is a demotivator.

However, if everyone is equally paid, relatively speaking, then pay alone is not going to make people work harder, smarter, or produce more results.

 So Now What?

The solution is not as simple as pointing out that money is not a motivator to an engaged and highly productive workforce.

There are some awesome lists of actions to take created by some excellent organizations based on heaps of research.

I encourage leaders and companies to do some or all of the things they suggest.

Here are three things to keep in mind:

1. The Money Cop Out 

Do not let managers/leaders say that the reason people don’t perform is their pay.  That is a cop out.  It is a way to say its not their fault when in fact they are the people that can create a motivating environment.

2. Meaningfulness

Make sure that every single person understands what he or she does to gain and retain customers.  They must have a clear line of sight to the end customer to understand their impact.

3. Make Sure Money is Not a Factor

Calibrate pay against your industry and ensure that you are paying employees fairly.  Make that known. Do not ask about it on employee engagement or opinion surveys.  No one thinks they are getting paid enough. It is not a differentiator between low and high performance teams.

Once money is off the table as “the reason teams aren’t productive” or “the reason morale is low” the real work of creating a highly engaged, productive, and profitable organization can begin.

How do you deal with the question about money as a motivator?  What have you seen as factors in highly productive workplaces?  Let me know!

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Anil Saxena
 is a President & Senior Consultant Cube 214 Consulting
He helps organizations create environments that generate repeatable superior results
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