Striking a work/life balance..

It always interests me to see people work through the various stages of life, for instance those finishing school, college or university and setting out into the world of work for the first time.  It's nice to watch the satisfaction of that first pay packet and the promise of so much more.

Then fast forward a few years and for many the spouse appears, the house is found and either a rent or a mortgage comes next, closely followed by the patter of tiny feet.  By now, the novelty of the first pay packet has well and truly worn off.

This coincides with promotion and added responsibility at work, or perhaps it's the new business venture.  Either way it brings stress and longer hours; it promises the dream and the idea of greater reward in the future.  Meanwhile, the family is growing and the demands are also increasing at home, yet the challenge of being present in body and spirit is a real one.

It's not long before relationships strain and communication at home is limited to a few minutes about the children, bills or the house.  Tiredness sets in and before long it's time for a good dose of reality.

The reason why I'm drawn to this is that I'm now at an age where I've went through many of these seasons myself.  I'm obviously writing from the perspective of a husband and a father, and at a time a selfish one too I must confess.  I worked hard yes, but when I came home I wanted my share of down time too.

If I learned anything from going through these stages of life, it's this, 'Take time to appreciate the here and now.  Value what you have now, not in the future.  Appreciate your spouse and spend time with your children, that's what they really want more than anything else.'

I thank God that I came to understand this early enough to do something about it.

Let's not live life with regrets, wishing we could wind the clock back if it were possible.


The Trust Factor in Leadership

In 2009 a Gallup research team asked more than 10,000 followers what the most influential leaders contribute to their lives.  Four basic needs were identified in this study:





The last two initially got me thinking.  So many leaders have to provide stability in difficult times, yet also at the same time give a measure of hope to followers about the future.

This is easier said than done of course.  For example, if the future is uncertain, it's likely to have an  affect on stability in the now. Alternatively, if things are unstable now, it's quite a challenge to inspire hope for a better tomorrow.  (Politics are a current example of this)

Followers of course love compassion, but trust is where it all begins and ends in leadership.

Trust is a two way thing.  I once heard a story by a guy called Ranjith Kumar which explains this very well:

A little girl and her father were crossing a bridge. The father said to his daughter, 'please hold my hand.'  The little girl said, 'No, Dad. You hold my hand.'  'What's the difference?' Asked the puzzled father.  'There's a big difference,' replied the little girl.

'If I hold your hand and something happens to me, chances are that I may let your hand go.  But if you hold my hand, I know for sure that no matter what happens, you will never let my hand go.'

The moral of this story is this:

In any relationship, the essence of trust is not in its bind, but in its bond.


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