“When Work & Family Collide”

I’m reading a great book by Andy Stanley, When Work & Family Collide.  In it, Stanley describes a tension most wrestle with regularly.  The tension between whether one “cheat’s their job or cheat’s their family”.  While one may think “cheating” sounds a bit harsh, Stanley helps the reader to truly understand you are going to “cheat” one or the other.  The question needing to be asked is, “Will you be intentional in that which you’re cheating?”

As related in my post Are you winning at home like you’re winning at work?, “one of the most rewarding parts of my job is to sit across the table from successful people in business and asking them about how intentional they are in the other aspects of their life.”  More specifically, to today’s context, “How intentional are you about your family?”

What is sometime surprising to folks is that when people are hiring me as an “Executive Coach”, a high percentage of the time we’re focused on much more than the business.  Candidly, the business is often secondary with feedback similar to the following being the primary:

In six months after coaching, what will success look like? What do you want for yourself?

“Work/life balance.  Being able to execute highly at work and feel comfortable about our direction and my role.  Spending quality time at home with my family.”

Part of the reason I’m so passionate about this subject is that I was “that guy” who was “cheating my family” for the benefit of my career.  Looking back, there was a period of time from 2005 to 2008 which I rarely was home.  In fact, having a lake house, one summer I never even saw my primary residence.  I would come back into town, meet the family at the lake house for the weekend, and then return to my “career”.  Thankfully, in my case, I was reward in 2008 with a “job lose” for all this “cheating of my family”.  I say “thankfully” in all sincerity as I’d rather have lost my job than my family.

Since beginning an “official” coaching and consulting business now over seven years ago, I find this to be the #1 topic hitting the table in executive coaching relationships.  For those attuned to it, you somewhat feel trapped and need help finding “work/life balance”.  I wish I had had someone speaking into my life at the time challenging me to “be more intentional” about “cheating my work.”

No, not everyone needs to leave their current position to find this type of balance.  In fact, that isn’t the goal of our relationship.  One of the simplest ways to relate to it for most is, “you have a strategic plan for your business”; however, do you have a “strategic plan for your life?”  I’m in the business of challenging people to have “strategic plans for your life!” and find great reward in do so.

Need help finding this type of balance and creating your “strategic plan for life”?  I’d greatly appreciate the opportunity to serve you or someone else you love?

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