When's the last time you stepped back and accounted for the percent of time you spend on every domain of your life? Are you focusing your time and effort on what really matters to you? In your mind's eye, fast forward twenty years; have you missed the most critical life events that you'll never be able to replicate? Finding balance in your life can be difficult but it's achievable with some intentional effort. Oftentimes, the season of life you are in may impact your ability to truly find the equilibrium that you're seeking. Finding balance doesn't mean you have to give up or discontinue doing the things that you love. It's about doing more of what brings you joy and adds meaning to your life. So, where do you start?
Jean, a Finance Director for a large public accounting firm, recently received a resignation letter from Tom, her Sr. Finance Manager. Tom came to the company just over a year ago with nearly 15 years of relevant experience. Jean was impressed with Tom; he had a solid education, interviewed very well and she immediately connected with him during their 45-minute interview meeting. After all the time and effort getting Tom up to speed - Jean was shocked that he'd decided to move on to another company. She really believed that he was loyal to her and therefore, felt both angry and somewhat betrayed. From her perspective, Tom should have shown more professional courtesy by talking to her about his decision, face-to-face. If things weren't going well, he should have spoken up.
Cynthia breathed a heavy sigh as she reviewed the results of the 360° assessment report that included feedback regarding her skills, effectiveness and influence as an executive. She’s just returned from a session with her coach, Renee, who debriefed the results with her. As much as she wanted to blame the messenger for some of the pointed feedback given, she knew that it was time she stopped deflecting. Donovan Rice, the Chairman of the Board had been supportive but painfully clear as he conveyed the Board’s concerns the previous week. Cynthia had two choices: either use this opportunity to engage with an executive coach who could help her identify and focus on her blind spots or the Board would have to make a leadership change.
Intentionality is key for emerging leaders who want to increase their skills, knowledge, and gain experience as a leader. When coaching emerging leaders, I find that providing support and shedding light on the unwritten rules related to managing one’s career is critical. Let’s not forget that our careers are assets. One pitfall that emerging leaders can sometimes overlook is failing to recognize when the time has come to leave their current employer. Never fall in love with your company to a point where you are not prepared to move on when the circumstances call for it. An example of this is Tonya’s (not her real name) story. Tonya has been working for the same organization that she started with when she graduated college – 9 years ago. She has done quite well for herself, having achieved several job promotions and many accolades. Being loyal and hardworking, to a fault, has garnered her the respect of both her peers and executives.