How To Effectively Balance Life and Leadership

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.

how-to-effectively-balance-life-and-leadership

  1. 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.
Everything you do matters. Lead by example. Click To Tweet

 

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!

 

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Tandy Elisala

Founder and Chief Inspiration Officer at Center for Inspiring Greatness
Tandy is passionate about empowering entrepreneurs to lead their business like a rockstar CEO. Tandy has studied, taught, led, coached and spoken for over 30 years in the fields of leadership, human resources and life success. She helped the University of Phoenix grow and scale from 13k - 480k students while saving millions in costs and having one of the most highly engaged team across the organization. Tandy spent 25 years as a corporate executive, 10 years as a faculty member and successful entrepreneur and did all this while kicking cancer's butt 4 times. Tandy is spiritual woo-woo with a 5-point business plan wrapped into one. She is a 6-time bestselling author and a mom. She believes to expand your impact, legacy and influence, you must learn how to scale as you grow, lead high performing teams and lead yourself. This is key to making more money, saving precious time, having creative flexibility and serving the world the way only you can.

Tandy lives in Tempe, Arizona, with her three kids and amazing angel dog. Order Tandy'sbooks at http://www.tandyelisala.com or www.amazon.com.

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18 replies
  1. Cyndi
    Cyndi says:

    I agree vacation time and rest time is so important. I’m sitting here this morning working through my allergies and all I really want to do is snuggle up back in bed.

    Reply
  2. Lorii Abela
    Lorii Abela says:

    These are great tips anyway the people who are working with you are the soul of the institution. If they are not happy, they will not be able to do the task well and they cannot deliver great for the people you serve. It should be a win, win, win. It is no wonder that many companies are giving great opportunities for their employees to have a balanced life. We have all heard about google and other tech companies leading in this endeavor.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      I agree it should be a win-win, Lorii. There are a lot of great companies leading the path for employee life balanced. It’s a great recruitment and retention strategy.

      Reply
  3. Sonya
    Sonya says:

    I only have me to worry about and that’s hard enough!
    I now force myself to take days off and I thoroughly enjoy it. They need to be more frequent though.

    Reply
  4. Kristen Wilson
    Kristen Wilson says:

    #2 is my main issue… giving ME time off… giving ME vacation and a break. I hear you.. I really need to be better with the balance but when you have kids… and her practices are 3 nights a week and usually 1-2 times during the weekend, that leaves little time for you. I only have one more year, but doing my best until then.
    Kristen Wilson recently posted…Just Do It – Why Are You Procrastinating?My Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      When you have a house full of kids and activities, it’s difficult to take time for self-care, Kristen. As a mom of 3 who invested a LOT of time, money and mileage on taking the kids to and from everywhere all the time, I can say it came back to bite me in the form of physical illness. Somehow, someway, our bodies let us know when we need to slow down and take things easy. If you are able to even spend 10-15 minutes a day breathing or doing nothing, that will help give you the energy you need to support your family. Big hugs

      Reply
  5. Alene Geed
    Alene Geed says:

    My best tip is the first one you describe here, Tandy. Lead by example. I spent many years working constantly..from early morning and through the weekends. My husband complained that even when I was on vacation I brought business journals with me to pore over. (This was pre-email days). I did eventually wise up and create balance in this arena. It had a profound and positive effect on my employees
    Alene Geed recently posted…You had the Power all alongMy Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      I hear ya’, Alene. I used to be the same way. I had no idea how I was hurting my employees and, when I realized what I was doing and changed, it made all the difference for everyone.

      Reply
  6. Candess M. Campbell
    Candess M. Campbell says:

    This article was so timely Tandy. Last year I took a cruise and did not work at all and was terrified if I stopped pushing forward I would stop all together. As it turned out I had a great time and work resumed as usual when I came home. I am much more balanced now, but had to let go of a lot of the work I did that was not very productive in order to balance.
    Candess M. Campbell recently posted…Is Trump a Sex Addict?My Profile

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      I’m so glad you relaxed and enjoyed your cruise. I bet you were that much more productive when returning to work!

      Reply
  7. Mitch Tublin
    Mitch Tublin says:

    Always a hot topic. Personally The Law of Gravity always proves to me there is no such thing as a perfect solution to the question of Life Balance. I do agree with your tips though! Living Life is what I say! Figure out what matters most to you and spend time on those things – figure it out and be flexible.
    Mitch Tublin recently posted…How Do You Deal With Distraction?My Profile

    Reply
  8. Erin
    Erin says:

    I love the tip of leading by example. I work for an individual who probably works 80-90 hours a week, and as a mom of 3 and small business owner, I often feel the pressure to keep up and volunteer extra hours. Its a very sticky situation which leads to extra stress and guilt. I think it is important for EVERYONE to have a work-life balance. You can still work VERY HARD if you focus your time.

    Reply
    • Tandy Elisala
      Tandy Elisala says:

      Oh my, Erin. Unfortunately, this individual may hit the wall at 150 mph. That’s what happened to me. You hit the nail on the head that it’s the FOCUS that helps us be more productive.

      Reply

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