Everything I’ve learned about becoming a Balanced Leader can be summarised in the three essential qualities needed. I call these the three Cs:
You must be clear about what work life balance looks like for you; and how a more balanced life will serve you. You must also be aware this is likely to change with your life circumstances.
You must be clear on how you prefer to manage your work-life boundaries and priorities. And you need to understand the implications for those around you whose preferences may differ.
You must be clear on the value you bring to your employer – the essential skills you offer that ensure you deliver on the outcomes for which you were hired. And on the internal expertise you’ve developed to expedite the process.
You must be clear on what support you need to become a Balanced Leader and to continue leading a balanced life. And you need to be clear how that will impact people around you – both at work and in your private life.
I’m not talking about outdated notions of “command and control” still prevalent in many workplaces. I’m talking about self-control and managing your environment. The latter isn’t always within your control but preparation and clarity provide choices.
Self-control in a work life balance context is all about managing your boundaries. Being very clear on where they lie and taking steps to ensure you’re maintaining them to the best of your ability.
Managing your environment is about recognising that flexible working at Executive levels is still a rarity. Understand you’re a pioneer; and likely to bump up against outdated corporate thinking and outdated processes. Make sure you have the skills to navigate these and succeed.
As a pioneer you’ll be doing things differently. People will be watching you and some will expect you to fail. You must develop the confidence that your skills and strategies will be successful.
You must be confident in the value you bring to your employer. This will underpin your interactions with the people around you.
And have the confidence to be a Role Model. Show others – particularly more junior women in your organisation and industry – that being a Balanced Leader is possible.
I’ll be expanding on this in future posts. In the meantime – how well do you score on the three C’s of Balanced Leadership?