Whatever the difference, instead of approaching it with a standardized approach, try a little customization. What drives you might not be what motivates them. That being said, most people being actively mentored are seeking to be successful in their career. According to Shambaugh, business leaders concur that there are four essential elements of lasting and worthwhile success — happiness, achievement, significance, and legacy. But true success doesn’t occur in a vacuum. It is only truly achieved when someone is accomplishing goals in their personal, professional, and community life. Shambaugh describes this as the realization of work/life balance. Though this is important for both genders, Shambaugh believes women struggle more with achieving work/life balance than their male counterparts. Here are her five keys to achieving work-life balance.
Five Keys To Work/Life Balance
The first key to a work-life balance is gaining focus. One way to do this is to evaluate time as you would finances. If you want to save more, or spend differently, the first thing a financial planner does is ask you to look at what you spend your money on. Take this same approach with the hours in your day. Use a simple hourly log to note how you are spending your time at home and work for two weeks. Doing this will allow you to sort your time into “musts,” “should,” and “coulds.” Cutting out “coulds” in one sphere of your life will give you time for “musts” in other spheres.
Key number two, establish your boundaries and communicate them. Sharon Allen, chairman, at Deloitte, and #98 on Forbes list of most powerful women, concurs. “It’s important to be transparent about your goals and expectations,” she states. “We need to be clear about letting others know we are leaving work at 5 p.m. to see our kid’s soccer game. And as executives, we need to be seen doing these things to let others know it is okay to leave at 5:00 for a child’s soccer game. This sets a healthy expectation of what’s accepted for yourself and for others.”
According to Shambaugh, the third key is the effective use of the word no. She admits this can be difficult, because leaders want to see themselves as being can-do, wanting to help save the day, and not wanting to disappoint. But the reality is, you can’t do it all. Her advice when being asked for help, when you simply don’t have the time, is to use these three words, in any order, “Sorry. Love to. Can’t.”
Key number four is to build and actually use your support network. Think about the people who constitute your “lifeline.” Reach out to them and let them contribute to your success.
The last key to achieving work-life balance is to start today, and not worry about being perfect. I am sure we have all met people who will start their diet tomorrow, or starting Monday, I am going to get organized. Shambaugh’s advice, why not start today.
Do As I Do
We have all heard the saying, “Do as I say, not do as I do.” Unfortunately this simply doesn’t work. Children of parents who smoke are twice as likely to being smoking themselves. When serving as a mentor, be sure to set the bar high for yourself — live and emulate work/life balance. Studies have shown that living a balanced life fosters the resilience needed to be successful leaders. Actively mentoring work/life balance will not only improve those in your charge, but will cultivate your own self-awareness, providing focus and making yourself a better leader.