A Daily Dispatch from the Front Lines of Leadership.


Think Circle Not Balance

As metaphors go, the idea of “work-life balance” suggests we face a tradeoff for which there is no perfect answer, only the promise of stability. Being “in balance” is what we strive for, although we implicitly know that equilibrium is hard to attain and even harder to sustain. The “work-life balance” metaphor has been around for decades and has never seemed to satisfy anyone craving a better way to make life choices. 

Perhaps, it is time for a new metaphor to guide our commitments to work and life? To paraphrase explorer Yvon Chouinard, a master in the art of living, draws no sharp distinction between work and play, labor or leisure, mind and body, education and recreation. This master hardly knows which is which, leaving it to others to determine whether he is working or he is playing. To himself, he always appears to be doing both. 

Jeff Bezos calls this “work-life harmony.” The key, according to Bezos, is to make sure your work generates energy and your home life is one of happiness. When you enjoy work-life harmony, energy from work makes you better at home, and happiness at home makes you better at doing your work. 

This circle is something we can create as opposed to selecting a momentary spot on a continuum. There are no trade-offs. Instead, work-life harmony is how we engage ourselves and others and find joy and energy in everything we do. 

Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on facebook

Sign-up Bonus

Enter your email for instant access to our Admired Leadership Field Notes special guide: Fanness™—An Idea That Will Change the Way You Motivate and Inspire Others.

Inspiring others is among the highest callings of great leaders. But could there be anything you don’t know, you haven’t heard, about how to motivate and inspire?

Could there really be a universal principle that the best leaders follow? A framework that you could follow too?

There is.

Everyone who signs up for Admired Leadership Field Notes will get instant access to our special guide that describes a powerful idea we call Fanness™ (including a special 20-minute video that really brings this idea to life).