How To Effectively Balance Life and Leadership
Maintaining peak performance is often stressful and demanding. Work responsibilities and deadlines can easily bleed over into a team member’s personal life. And the result can be anything from health problems, to burnout, to job dissatisfaction and disengagement. Since everyone brings their heart to work, all aspects of life can impact work results.
It’s in a leader’s best interest, then, to ensure the team is healthy, passionate and engaged in order to exceed goals and maintain top productivity. This balance starts with establishing a strong work ethic without infringing on much personal time. Smart leaders use the following three secrets to help both their teams and themselves reach a delicate but successful work-life balance.
Effectively balancing life and leadership means leading by example.
As a leader, when you work 60, 80, 100 hour weeks, it can establish the impression among employees that they should, too. When you work through holidays, sick time, vacation time, nights, weekends, etc… you are setting the tone; whether you intend to or not. Everyone needs time off to recharge and enjoy personal time. You may *think* that you are being more productive working all the time. From personal experience, I can tell you that you NEED rest. You need quiet time. You need time away to recharge your batteries. When I didn’t take time away and was constantly burning the midnight oil, I got sick. When I constantly worked, I was encouraging my employees to constantly work, too. When I constantly worked, I wasn’t fully rested to have balance and lead by example.
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2. Effectively balancing life and leadership means encouraging vacation time, hobbies and volunteerism.
Encouraging vacation time, hobbies and volunteerism outside of work shows employees you care about them as a whole person. Employees who don’t take their vacation time eventually experience declining productivity. Business writer and travel enthusiast Lea Lane has pointed to research saying that 429 million vacation days expire every year in the United States. 429.million.vacation.days. Companies offer paid time off so employees can de-stress and take advantage of personal time. Good leaders encourage and enforce this. When employees connect to their hobbies, personal passions and volunteer work, they appreciate their jobs more, love their lives more and are generally more engaged when they are at work! Win – win.
3. Effectively balancing life and leadership means being aware of what’s happening in the lives of your employees.
When we realize that all employees bring their entire hearts to work, we know that what happens at home can impact what happens at work. Gone are the days of saying, “leave your personal life at the door.” When you are aware of what’s going on in your teams’ lives, you can better manage outcomes and help them through tough times. I’m not suggesting you allow personal life to excuse not meeting standards and expectations. However, when you care enough about employees to lend a listening ear, provide recommendations and such, you help them feel better. When employees feel better, they work harder and they are more engaged.
What is your best tip to effectively balancing life and leadership? Please comment below!