What aspect of leadership do your clients struggle with most and why?
Easy question: doing instead of Leading
If you’re like most leaders, you started your career in the trenches. As you worked your way up, your early successes were about doing a job well. If you founded the company, you were the production, service, and sales departments. Even if you began as a supervisor, you likely managed front-line associates and served as backup worker during peak times.
Now you hold a leadership role, but a conversation you still carry in your head is, “I can do X better than others.” Stop that! You hired them to do the work and solve the problems—they need you to provide inspiration, coaching, and leadership!
When you hear yourself saying, “I don’t have time to manage people,” that’s a huge red flag that signals misaligned priorities. Try this exercise: Write down everything you do, then ask, “What should be getting done by someone else?”
When I started coaching Jack, he was stuck in a direct consulting role and unable to achieve Partner status. To help him bridge the gap between doing and leading, we created an image of him on an actual bridge. He’s holding onto ropes of various lengths attached to either end. He can only hold so many ropes, and in order to step forward and pick up a new one on the leading side, he must hand off something from the doing end to someone else.
What's one thing business leaders can do to balance a happy home life with a happy work life?
The one thing business leaders can do to happily balance work and home life is to Focus. Life/work balance is not about time—it’s about how “present” you are during the time you have.
The core issue for most people is a lack of boundaries between their two roles. Technology makes work-at-home possible, but the downside is it’s always pinging itself into your awareness.
Follow the advice of Frozen’s Queen Elsa, and “Let it Go” every so often. If you are distracted or stressed, time you spend with kids can actually be detrimental. What they need most from you is to be fully present. Studies show quality of time is far more important than quantity. When you are with your family, especially kids, strive to be fully present.
Eat dinner together. Have conversation. Read with them. Do activities. Even if it’s a short time, you’re creating memories and connections built on significant moments, not on duration. You will feel more balanced and everyone will, in the end, feel happier.