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Wednesday, October 13, 2004

 

Work and Life and Success: Room For All?

I've found two very different perspectives on the work/life experience in the media.

The first comes from Fortune Magazine and takes the view that organizations must see a flexible workplace as a benefit for their employees and a key business initiative that positively affects the bottom-line. While the article is sponsored by an association that promotes work/life initiatives, AWLP has worked hard over the past few years to make solid business cases for why taking care of your people makes good business sense.

Read the article (pdf): http://www.awlp.org/pub/fortune-section-04.pdf

The second is the lead story for the October issue of Fast Company which argues that work/life balance is bunk and that it's bad for business and making all of us crazy. I think there might be a kernal of truth to the article in this way: balance is impossible. Consider your life like a pie and each wedge represents a different role. If you work so hard to stay in the center of the pie and balance it all, you'll spend more time and effort in the act of balancing than you will in actually living. So on that point, I would agree that the attempt to balance will drive us mad. Yet, my major criticism of the piece is that it continues to advocate a zero-sum game where you have to constantly give up something to remain successful in your life. If your kids need you, then you have to sacrifice your work; if you're working on an important project, then your family might just have to give you up for a while.

Read the article: http://www.fastcompany.com/magazine/87/balance-1.html

Maybe what's really needed from all of us now is a reconceptualization of what success truly is. My own definition of success is when our roles are integrated in a meaningful and intentional way. I'm curious about what success looks like for others. Is it possible to live a successful personal and professional life all at once?


Categories: c.Careers; c.Living; c.Management

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

 

A Time To Choose (in honor of the return to standard time)

This past weekend, I had the tremendous honor of meeting and briefly being taught by Henry Kimsey-House, co-founder of The Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and one of the creators of the co-active coaching model. It was partly because of an interview in Utne Reader last year that I realized that I wanted to be a coach and train with CTI. The article focused on making intentional decisions in life: focusing on what's important and then taking action. So, in the spirit of this encounter and the upcoming end of daylight savings time, I would like to offer some thoughts on choices and managing time.

If you tell yourself that you'll start doing something when it slows down, when its a little less crazy...guess what? It will probably never slow down and be less crazy that it is now. As a matter of fact, there's a good probability that it will be even more hectic in the future. Yet, instead of this being an absolute truth, consider this to be just one story or perspective that keeps you from stepping up to bigger and better things. What other perspectives can you generate that might help you start something that's really important?

Along with considering other perspectives, take some time to make sure that everything that you're doing right now is in line with your core values. Are you doing anything that is unimportant (or less important than the other activities), but seems to take up your time anyway? Consider making some intentional decisions about what fits into your life right now.

To borrow liberally from Billy Crystal, "When you finally realize what you want to do with the rest of your life, you want the rest of your life to begin as soon as possible." What do you want to do today?

By the way, visit http://www.utne.com/pub/2003_117/promo/10492-1.html for the interview with Henry.


Categories: c.Coaching; c.Living
 

There Is More Between Heaven and Earth...

It's a little off of what I would normally post here, but I keep coming back to this story and find myself amazed by what happened. It's the recent story about the 17 year old girl who drove over her car into a ravine in Washington state. Two things are absolutely miraculous: one, that she survived (we learned today that dehydration may have saved her from dying of a blood clot in her brain); two, and the point of my post, is how she was found.
A volunteer searcher who said she had had several vivid dreams of a wooded area found the wrecked car in the trees Sunday...Hatch's parents organized a volunteer search Saturday, and that night Sha Nohr, the mother of Hatch's friend, said she had dreams of a wooded area and heard the message, "Keep going, keep going."
This absolutely amazes me, as well as inspires me because there is so much that we still do not understand about ourselves as humans and our capabilities. What would you call Sha Nohr's experience? To me, it relates to a second conception of "intuition." There is a more rational view of intuition which is the mind's ability to take various bits of information and fill in the blanks on a subconscious level. But this goes beyond rational. Another view of intuition is that it is an act of receiving information from a deeper level of reality. Deepak Chopra might say that it is communicating with the quantum level, that space which exists between physical reality and the spiritual reality of God.

Now, for the wild leap...how does this alternative view of intuition fit into how leaders operate within organizations? Is it possible for companies to entertain the spiritual dimension of intuition and use it to energize their cultures? What are the thoughts out there?


Categories: c.Living; c.Organizations; c.Spirit

Friday, October 01, 2004

 

October is National Work and Family Month

Last year, the U.S. Senate passed a resolution designating October as National Work and Family Month (more information can be found at the National Work-Life Initiative website). This is a significant step for all who have been advocating for greater understanding that employees do not check their personal lives at the front door of their organizations. We are all whole beings who desire to have full lives in which the personal and the professional are integrated.

Throughout the month, I'll be blogging on this topic and incorporating resources of value and interest. Anyone with thoughts or questions, let's hear from you. We've come to an exciting time in the history of work - one where individuals have more power to make meaningful choices than ever before.


Categories: c.Careers; c.Living

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