How to effectively strike a balance in your working life
A balanced approach to executive leadership and organisational development acknowledges every person and organisation are different and at different places in its lifecycle, therefore, different approaches to strike balances are necessary. In addition, each organisation, just like a person, goes through a developmental process. At all of these stages, different philosophies and styles will be appropriate. In Plan Journeys, we are asked to think about how planning forces the rigor of the process whilst making it appear that actions are spontaneous as you navigate the different personal and organisational variables and life stages. That is, strike a balance, do the hard work and make it look effortless. If the plan is not in place, striking balances will never be achieved.
“Life is a matter of balance. There is no past or future just a pivot point in between.”
Consider the things that might need balancing in your organisation, the balance sheet might look something like this: –
- Profit and corporate social responsibility
- Incremental or transformation change
- Short-term results or long-term commitment
- Process or creativity
- Manage or lead
- Empowerment or control
- Centralised versus distributed power
- Local or global
- Intuition or action
- Risk taking or risk avoiding
- Work or life
- Train or buy in expertise / direct labour or contractors
- Complexity or simplicity
Which of the 16 compass points are vital for you to strike balances?
The answer is, it depends on the situation and the long and short term factors and forces surrounding you and the business. What we do not want is to be constantly running from one extreme to another.
The Executive Leader is the fulcrum, who, with sometimes delicate precision balances all of the parts to create an equal equation. This is a key leadership function. They create the right leverage to support the business and allocate its resources effectively. According to what is needed, the Executive Leader places him/herself at the right point to ensure an equal measure of input and output forces.
How to effectively strike a balance in your working life?
Just how do you get to the other side? Walk the tightrope, juggle the spinning plates and stay focused on delivering a unified wholesome organisation, which satisfies all stakeholders and enables you to stay grounded?
The Executive Leader needs to: –
- Be a hero, inspire and help create and nurture other heroes
- Understand your organisation (Understand The Business) and the context in which it operates
- Take a holistic view
- Create a balance sheet
- Refer to the plan. Live, breathe and adapt where necessary
Let’s take a look at how to be a hero
You, the Executive Leader, have to be a hero, a champion amongst your peers, where you use the compass at the heart of what you do and who you are. Use the compass to guide your heart to connect to and engage with the hearts of other people. When you do, you will motivate others to want to walk beside you, not behind or in front. Side-by-side empowered, trusted teams collaborating for the highest good where their personal brand and personal power are connected to your organisation’s brand, creating a common purpose, common identity and balance.
Can this utopia be achieved? Possibly.
I am a fan of champions at all levels. If we have an executive leadership team which come together without egos to be the heart and soul of the organisation and work to keep the beat and energy vibrating at the same frequency. Who together have a clear idea of how they can support the organisations overarching vision, who can communicate values, mission, passion and purpose to their people, and engage them in creating and executing strategies and tactics, then yes.
Strike your balances by:
Setting goals without compromising relationships with people (Sometimes goals are set that can be perceived as being compromising, but they may need communicating too to understand the big picture and to get people on-board)
- Trusting people and providing autonomy whilst still keeping an overseeing eye
- Confront difficult situations and deal with conflict by considering everyone’s view in the context of the conflict
- Being professional and having the ability to have friendships with colleagues, remember you do not need to be friends to have a professional relationship
- Walking a mile in another man’s shoes. Treat others how they want to be treated (if you can work that out) and treat as you would want to be treated
Ask yourself how you can become a hero?
Let us know what you come up with.
Jacqui Malpass is the author of 5 books including the two Navigate Executive Leadership ones. She is a strategist, loves ideas and creating innovative solutions to niggly solutions. If there is a process that needs creating and implementing, she is your gal. She also adores helping her clients to find and share their inspirational message in a book or by turning their books into online courses.