I recently wrote an article titled “The Unexpected Perils of Balance“.
A few days later a colleague, student and longtime reader emailed me a metaphor for balance. Let me quote Ann Marie Turner of Austin Texas directly:
There was a kid in my third grade class – probably one in yours, too –
who liked to play on the teeter-totter by standing on top of the board,
running back and forth.
That’s the picture I have of balance.
Balance existed only for a split second as this spirited kid would run
uphill until the seesaw dipped the other direction.
As the board would fall, he would start running up the other direction .
. . back and forth.
Exhilarating even to watch.
Technically, balance was achieved when the boy reached the center point
and, like scales, the board appeared on an even keel.
I’ve always wondered, though, if achieving balance in our lives isn’t
like the boy’s game . . . the thrill of experiencing more than one
perspective and the ABILITY to speed or slow the game to our own liking
and shortening or lengthening the time spent at the center point.
All of these thoughts, both mine in my blog post and Anne Marie’s are valid to us as leaders. Not only consider these thoughts for ourselves, but for those we lead as well.
There are implications for us from a coaching and mentoring perspective; consider what advice and counsel do you give to others regarding balance – in terms of how to define and how to achieve it?
As leaders we must always recognize the power we have as we model behaviors; is your approach and relative success in this area what you want others modeling? (Remember they will watch what you do far more than what you say!)
Further consider how your leadership communication reinforces or contradicts your true beliefs about balance, whatever it is.
The bottom line is that your thoughts and actions regarding balance are important – and to more than just yourself!
Make it on of your leadership activities today to read my article, ponder Anne Marie’s thoughts again and think about your values and beliefs about balance.
It will be time well spent.