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Category: Family

Photo Credit: "Fireworks of the American Flag" by Beverly & Pack
An Optimist at Heart

An Optimist at Heart

I am looking forward to the New Year as 2016 was not the best of years for the world.  The US elections were difficult and left most people angry for one reason or another. If you watch the cable news, it seems the world is heading to hell in a handbasket.  The over saturation and exaggerations by the media is depressing.

With that being said, I hope and pray that 2017 will be a better year for us all.  The past is behind us, and we can look upon the future in directed anticipation of making it better.  Whatever your slice of the world that you wish to address, it is time to get in motion.  Take it on and do something new. Success or failure, it is the journey that ultimately matters. Who is with us and the lives we impact is what counts in the end.

I am an optimistic realist and see no value in obsessing over the negativity we will confront. I will try to do something each day to make my slice of the world a little better.

Photo Credit: "Conversation" (CC BY 2.0) by Sharon Mollerus
Dealing with Different Decompression Times

Dealing with Different Decompression Times

I do not often post about other articles I come across online. I prefer to comment on them, and if I like them, I will post them to LinkedIn. However, when something speaks to me, or it is a topic that is under appreciated by the masses, I will take the time to write a short post. I came across one such article today. Ed Batista wrote a piece on Harvard Business Review talking about the conflicts that arise between couples when they get home from work. This is a topic that many people in leadership do not fully appreciate or acknowledge the toll it takes on families and relationships.

We work diligently in our careers and all too often take home the stress we experience during the day. While it is not fair to come home in this mindset, I believe we are human, and it is hard to shake off a rough day in the typical 30-minute commute home. By no means am I excusing the behaviors of people, but I am just as guilty as the next when bringing home a bad day from the office.

Below is my comment on the article. In addition to the recommendations provided by the author, a little early communication between partners can go a long way to disrupting the conflict cycle.

I think this is underappreciated and recognized condition for many people in the professional community. It is incredibly tough to shake off a rough day at the office when we walk through the door to our home.

My wife or I will typically call each other on our way home to give and receive brief rundowns of our respective days. It is also an opportunity for us to understand each other’s current state before walking in the door. This way, we help each other cool down when we get home even if it means just providing some quiet space.

Photo Credit: "Now" (CC BY 2.0) by new 1lluminati
Aligning Professional and Personal Roles to Core Values

Aligning Professional and Personal Roles to Core Values

Having a strong work-life role as part of our overall identity is healthy and normal for high-performing people.  However, it is easily taken too far.  People may become so emotionally connected to the business that it consumes their identity until “the company” represents a huge part of the individual.  On the other hand, having a weak work-life component of our identity leads to career stagnation, mediocrity, and disengagement.

When we permit our personal identities to be compromised by allowing the corporation to supplant our true selves, we are letting our family, team, and company down.  Our objectiveness and priority system is unbalanced, and that compromises our judgement.  This situation leads to burnout, frustration, and an ever escalating level of damaged relationships.

FYI: This post is not what I intended to write.  However, it is some honest thoughts, and I feel it might be worth sharing.  I hope you find some value in it.

This is avoidable by aligning our priorities and actions with our core values. This requires us to understand what matters the most to us as a person.  Frequently, it is our family. I have learned the importance of regularly looking at my obligations and roles through the lens of my core values. This approach allows for the separation of the corporation from the person. I am not advocating for the separate identities for work-life and home-life.  This would create an entirely different set of problems. I am a complete person that has multiple obligations and roles in life.  When integrated together through core values, I am a unified and authentic person. I would recommend that we look at where our efforts/resources are being directed while asking a couple of questions.

  • Do I understand the needs and expectations of my stakeholders? Even if I am sure, I will ask them again. This understanding must be comprehensive and include both internal and external such as family, friends, colleagues, business and community.
  • Are my actions and resource allocation (time, energy, mind share, and financial among other items) aligned with those needs and expectations?
  • Do I agree with the current alignment between my core values, conduct, the external expectations placed on me, my internal expectations for myself, and my allocation of resources? If not, what beliefs, actions, or assignments need to be modified to gain the required alignment?
  • If I feel my resource’s allocations, actions, and beliefs are aligned with my core values, do the desires of my stakeholder’s need to be modified? If so, what methods may I use to help them in recalibrating their expectations?
  • How often should I recheck my alignment with my stakeholders and core values?

The allocation of resources and assessment of our behavior moves as our life situations change. The aim is to keep the true priorities that are derived from our core values first in our personal and professional lives. When we have an agreement between our core values, behaviors, and stakeholders, we are free to experience higher levels of fulfillment, clearer judgement, and ultimately the success we seek.

Photo Credit: freeimages.com/mimoes
Stepping Away from the Digital Life

Stepping Away from the Digital Life

Keeping up with everything is a full-time job. It adds stress and anxiety inappropriately to our lives. Periodically, I have to step away and look at how I manage our digital life. Simplification is needed to save our sanity, relationships, and give us the freedom to focus on what matters. The goal is to focus on the content that is critical to my life and career. Social media has been pared back to the interaction channels that allow me to connect with those people whom I care the most about and not the ones that provide the maximum voice. I have generated a surprising amount of free time and feel less obligated to maintain these digital connections. It is funny and a little sad that my stress level is lower as I reduce more of my digital life. The freed time is spent interacting and socializing with friends and family.

I realize that a meaningful engagement with one person brings more good to the world than superficial interactions with a thousand.

  • Twitter account: closed.
  • Instagram account: closed.
  • Facebook account: on a serious diet
  • LinkedIn account: maintaining a profile but no longer as active on news, commenting, and discussion groups
  • WordPress/tumbler: cut way back on the number of blogs I follow, comments on, and engage.
  • News websites: avoiding
  • Industry websites: following only two

I am not saying that I am jumping off of the grid or that social media is a waste of time. I want to focus on the parts of the social network that add value to my life and others. Moreover, I want real value and not just the illusory experience of superficial social interactions. I may add some of these accounts back over time but will focus on deeper and more personal interactions versus increased reach and share the voice.