Every leader laments or grieves over balance. With so much to do, and so little time, “How do I balance home, work, school (in some cases), and community service?”
“How do I get, and keep, my sense of balance?”
One definition of balance from Google is to:
“keep or put (something) in a steady position so that it does not fall.”
A steady position, not perfect, satisfactory, or easy position, but steady. Such is the life of leaders at every level, especially executive leadership positions, hence the lamenting. Leaders often overlook the one element required to gain and keep balance:
What can you do to achieve balance, to keep from going stir crazy? I used to apply what I call the 4Rs: Reflection, Review, Reflexivity, and Retreat. Let me unpack each one.
Daily Reflection. I am an introvert, and as a medical doctor once told me, “Intro or Extrovert has nothing to do with your social skills, but how we recharge. Some people need solitude and introspection, while some people need other people, and excitement.” Whatever way we chose to reflect, we need to come up for air daily, to see what blocks us from or keeps us steady.
Weekly Review. Did we achieve what we planned to achieve, at home, at work, at school, or in the community? High achievers can gain balance by accomplishing the goals they set for themselves, or at least knowing where they are at on the battlefield. Setting those goals and seeing how I did, allows me to maintain some modicum of control over my life, and equilibrium.
Monthly Critical Reflexivity. Critical reflexive practice means thinking more critically, to find the true meaning in our actions, and how those actions impact others, while challenging our basic assumptions and values. In simple terms: Does what you are doing, matter? If so, how much?
Quarterly Retreat. For an extrovert, this might mean a family, friends, faith, coworker, or community outing. Camping, hiking, fishing, movie binge, etc. For me, it meant getting away from everyone. I believed in being a ‘kept man’ as a leader, so I was fully transparent. The downside of that? Everyone always wants a piece of the leader, so, leaders never get any peace. I required some ‘me time’.
As you can see from the picture, balance does not teeter on one critical point, but several critical points in alignment. I did not gain balance from just one action, but a series of actions that allowed my thinking and actions to align, at home, at work, and in the community. My 4Rs brought me balance.
How do you gain balance?
Balance (2017). Google. Retrieved from https://www.google.com/search?q=balance &oq=balance&aqs=chrome..69i57j69i65j0l4.1686j0j7&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8
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