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On Saturday I spoke to first year business students at the Haskayne School of Business, University of Calgary. We discussed leadership as a process – first you need to lead yourself. One of the areas that you have to master before you could be a great leader is balancing body, mind & spirit.
To me balance isn’t looking at each day and making sure you’ve exercised, spent time with your family, gave 100% at work, read a book for pleasure, took a class to advance your career, reviewed your investments, attended a volunteer meeting, cooked a healthy meal, and meditated. I’m exhausted just thinking about it!
Balance to me is the right mix of the important aspects of your life over a longer period of time – maybe a month or longer. In the case of the students, it could be a year.
Think about the things that are important to your life: health, wealth, career, family, community, intellectual and spiritual. How important is each one to your life today? (You can tell by how much time you are putting into it.)
What would you like your life to look like in these seven areas? If it’s different from today, then think about how you can make some modifications so that you have better balance over a month or quarter. Does it mean getting off the computer so that you can get more sleep? Does it mean bringing your lunch? How about combining activities like visiting a friend while going for a walk, or calling your mother while you are on the treadmill? Maybe you have to stop doing some things in order to add other things into your life.
I reminded the students that no one cares about your marks outside of school. I recommended that they get rest and exercise instead of trying to attain near-perfect scores.
The same should be true of you. Do you have to do everything perfectly? Maybe you could lessen your standards, or pay someone else to do it.
The only person you need to satisfy is yourself – there’s no outside professor giving you an A on your life. Marks aren’t important, balance is!
Having a good balance in your life means that you have similar expectations of your staff when you become a leader. That's the kind of leader I'd like to work for!
If you’d like to talk about being a better leader – Valerie.MacLeod@HainesCentre.com
Do you want better balance in your life? Read my life-planning book: "Get Me Off the Treadmill!"
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