“In all my work what I try to say is that as human beings we are more alike than we are unalike.” Maya Angelou
I just returned from a trip to Abu Dhabi, in the UAE (United Arab Emirates). I was working with a group of executives from Russia, Egypt, Libya, the UAE and the US on coaching and leadership development. I began their training by coaching them on setting goals and putting together action plans. What I found interesting was that during preparation for the training, the team there really wanted to make sure that part of the focus was on tools and resources for work / life balance. Does that sound familiar?
Half way around the world we are more alike than we are different.
Work and making a difference in the various ways that we do, fulfills us deeply. It answers a need. We have prices and payoffs in all that we do. Most of us do what we do to support or allow us to do the things outside of work that matter most to us. Whether that is our families, time with friends, supporting our community, the arts and/or spending time with activities that we are passionate about. Why then, do we let those things take a back seat to working more, getting out a proposal or taking 15 minutes to plan that will pay dividends for us in our productivity?
How many of us really take the time to draw a line in the sand and block out the time that we want with our families, friends and these other activities? I think we allow ourselves to get unbalanced or inharmonious because we don’t take the time to really understand and contemplate what matters to us the most.
It’s valuable to ask the questions: “What do I truly value?” and, “What is my purpose?” and “Why am I doing what I do?” When you have clarity of purpose, you can then align your life, work, and everything that you do from that foundation. From that place, you can set goals and put together action plans to create the life and work and all that you want to be, do, and have.
I commend companies that are willing to invest in their employees and allow them to pause and take the time to get clear about what their purpose and values are and what they want to accomplish both personally and professionally. That process creates a more passionate team member. Think about how valuable it is for a company that has a team of clearly focused, on purpose, passionate people. The stronger each individual is, the stronger and more successful the company will be.
As Harvey Mackay said, “The team you build will be the business you build.”