The art of balance and leadership

As leaders, we work hard to drive our organization’s goals and results. Relentless leadership can have a price if it is not focused on. As leaders, we are more mindful of planning and setting goals for our actions, but our concern with the big picture of our lives (personal impact of work and personal life) is difficult to find time to think about. Every leader will be more effective if they take the time to be a balanced leader.

What does this mean? A well-balanced leader cares about all areas of his life. While it is an ongoing effort to manage the various aspects of a leader’s busy life, The Art of Balance is deliberate and mindful of giving time and attention to all areas. Not every area needs the same amount of attention, but some should.

In today’s busy, fast-paced, and demanding world, even the best leaders have to work to stay in tune with the indicators that let them know when they might be “out of balance.” There are signs of imbalance or disengagement. If you want to maintain top performance, you need to be aware of your scores and work to maintain balance.

The art of maintaining balance is:

It’s not a quick fix (for exhausted, disconnected, or overworked leaders).
It’s not an easy one-step procedure or solution (it’s a process).
It is not linear. It is an inclusive concept.
Proven it with executives and senior professionals.
(Ref: The Power of Full Engagement by Jim Lohr)

To consider your balance, you might look into some areas of your life. For me, I usually find the eight pieces to be a good life shot: family, friends, faith, finances, fun, your environment, health, and work. In The Power of Full Sharing, the authors break these areas down into 4 areas: Spiritual, Emotional, Mental, and Physical.

Both divisions are worth considering. The first helps you look at the different areas of your life. The second helps you assess the impact your life has had on you. The regions mentioned in the first part generate positive or negative results in the second list of regions.

Here are some tips for honing the art of balance in your busy leadership life.

1. Focus on one area at a time. Even if you do one area one month and another the next, pick one up. You wouldn’t want to change focus points more than once a month. If you want to make progress, see change and get results, you need a month of effort to design, try, implement and create a new pattern before you shift your focus to something else.

2. Notice your energy. Your energy will help you assess whether you are on the right track or off track in an area. There may be areas that you really don’t want to think about. This might be an area you really need to consider. If there is nothing wrong here, you will not subconsciously avoid it. You may be in (?) an area that you are really excited to think about and spend a lot of time in, notice how that area can take up all of your time and energy and get you out of balance with other areas or it may be a “productive” way of avoiding an area you’d rather not think about.

3. Have a plan. Once you have chosen an area to focus on that will benefit your life balance, create an action plan that you will do on a weekly and monthly basis to keep that area in mind. If this area can easily be given attention, it is not an area you need to work on. If you are working in an easy area, double check and make sure it is the best area for you to focus on. I’m not saying life has to be hard, I’m just saying it’s human nature to work on what we enjoy and avoid what we don’t (eg diet, exercise, bad relationship, annoying spouse, annoying employee, finances, etc.)

Get more out of life, work and your team with BALANCE. You will be more successful, productive, and get better results across the board when you take the time to do so.

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