Equality For All!
- August 26, 2018
August 26 is Women’s Equality Day, commemorating the passage of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in the U.S. Nearly 100 years later, this day has come to mean even more as both women and men make concerted efforts to achieve full gender equality, especially in the workplace.
As a working mother and senior executive, I’m often asked, “how do you do it all? How do you manage both work and family?” I’m always willing to share what seems to work best for me, as I think it is important for everyone to exchange stories, ideas and tips as we go through a collective journey to balance career with life.
However, as we continue to push for equality, it’s important that we’re not just asking women this question. Asking male coworkers how they “do it all” not only reinforces equality for everyone at work but also at home, helping to eliminate any preconceived notions that it’s only women who need to learn how to juggle between the two.
With equality in mind, I asked some of my male colleagues from around the world, “how do you manage both work and life?” Here’s what they said:
“It is all about priorities. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is one area I prioritize. I make it a point to hit the gym in the mornings and to also eat healthily. This keeps me energized and allows me to remain focused at work. I travel for work on an almost-weekly basis, so I make it a point to be home for the weekend with my family. As a father of three, I try to attend my children’s important activities and have regular family holidays. While at work, I am fully focused on work… focusing on the right priorities at the right time has allowed me to gain the trust of my family and my team, making life a lot more fun!”
“The key to work/life balance is to know what matters to you. Both professionally and personally, we have to make trade-offs to accomplish our goals. Those choices can be really hard to make, but if you’re clear on your priorities, they become a lot easier. I want to be a very present father and husband. So my family comes first, always. Health matters greatly as well, so exercise is a non-negotiable. In my career, I prioritize maintaining a world-class team, because I thrive on working with people who are collaborative and share my passion for winning. Those three pillars — family, health and team — form my tripod. If one of those three pillars is off, I’ll do what it takes to fix it. That’s how I maintain stability.”
“Achieving balance with work and life is not something that happens overnight, but something that gets honed over time. I try to keep it simple. When I’m at work, that’s where my focus is, but when I’m at home, I try to be 100% present. This means no calls after business hours, delegating responsibility and trust to members of my team when I’m on holiday, and actually putting on my out of office and turning off my phone (providing a way to reach me in case of emergencies, of course!) It takes discipline, but not only do my family benefit from me switching off, but it sends the right message to my team – that I trust them to lead when I’m away.”
“It goes without saying that I wouldn’t be where I am today without my wife and family’s support and understanding. However, regardless of your role and position, you have to prioritize your family and a healthy work-life balance, and depend on your team at work and home to not only help you succeed, but to call you out when you could use a little more life balance.”
“In our lives we are jugglers with a number of balls in the air. We need to keep an eye on all of them and not just one, making sure we keep the right balance between work, family, health and personal activities. It is the only formula I know that I will not regret when I look back at my life. I am fortunate to have my loved ones who are not shy to let me know when I start to lose this balance. As I usually travel a lot for work, I block time in my agenda for my children’s important activities and try to be present in most (if not all) of those activities. I also reserve some time to recharge my energy with friends and reading a non-business book to refresh my mind.”
“Finding a balance between work and life comes down to boundaries, batteries and believing. You first need to believe that a healthy work-life balance will actually enable you to be your best and do your best work. You also have to set clear boundaries for your personal and family time and hold to them. And, finally, you have to prioritize recharging your batteries. It’s not a badge of honor to work day and night. Rather, by taking the time necessary to truly refresh my batteries – like fishing – I can thrive at work and be more effective in delivering value for our customers.”
“In sales, we all share a commitment to our customers and a strong focus on the business. We carry a lot of responsibility in knowing that our performance directly impacts the success of the company. While we are focused on delivering results, we should also prioritize our families and never miss the opportunity to spend time with them. I arrange my calendar around important family moments like sporting events, anniversaries, and birthdays. I am a proud father of six and I always look forward to the opportunities when I get to spend quality time with my wife, sons and daughter. I greatly value my family and being appreciative of that helps me to ensure that I’m balancing my time. As leaders, we need to openly talk about the importance of achieving a work/life balance with our teams – especially with high performance teams like sales focused on delivering a world-class customer experience.”
As you can see, managing work and life isn’t just a challenge or a goal for women. We’re all in this together.
As we continue to push for a more inclusive society, it’s important that we continue to ask these questions to everyone so we can all learn, growth and thrive – at work and at home. So I ask you, both men and women, “how do you best manage both work and life?”