Work life balance is defined as a “concept including proper prioritization between career and lifestyle.” I realize some people will say work life balance is a myth. Some might say work life integration is a much better term. Regardless of what you call it, I’d like to think we can agree on this: we don’t work all the time. We want to know we can take time off. We want to enjoy time with our family, friends, or self without feeling pressured or guilty about work.
I believe that every person, regardless of their job title, thinks about having work life balance.
Leadership is the ability and power to influence others. Using that definition, leadership doesn’t have anything to do with a person’s role or responsibilities in the organization. Management, on the other hand, is defined as the ability to control or administer all or part of an organization. It does have to do with a person’s job title and responsibilities.
I believe that every single person, no matter where they are in an organization, has leadership ability. And we have to start thinking of these concepts – leadership and work life balance – as being connected.
We can use our ability to influence others when it comes to prioritizing our careers and lifestyle.
There are 3 pieces to the conversation: what we say, how we say it, and the last one I’d call “believing it.” That was my takeaway from social psychologist Amy Cuddy’s TED talk titled “Your body language shapes who you are.” FYI – this is the 2nd most viewed TED talk of all time. If you haven’t seen it, it’s worth the time.
We’ve been taught that, if we can believe in ourselves, we can make things happen. In Cuddy’s talk, she explains how we are influenced by our own non-verbal body language. The idea being, if we act more powerful, then we are.
How does this relate to leadership and work life balance? Well, if we think we have the ability to influence, then we do. And if we act like we can influence, then we can. Work life balance is simply the “concept” that you’re trying to create this influence around.
So when we’re having those moments when we’re stressed or it seems like we can get ahead, it’s time for us to employ our leadership skills. I know when that happens to me, it’s because my “balance” is out of whack. I need to remember that I can change the situation.
I can’t wait to hear Amy Cuddy live and in person at this year’s WorkHuman 2016 conference presented by Globoforce. The event is May 9-11 in Orlando. Other speakers include Michael J. Fox and Catherine Flavin, who spoke with me last year about flow. You can find a detailed agenda and registration information here. HR Bartender readers get a $300 discount on registration using the code WH16SL300. Hope you can join us!
Image taken by Sharlyn Lauby after winning a round at Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf in Orlando0