I read this great article in Sunday’s New York Times called “What Work Is Really For.” I highly recommend it. Anyway, the article was provocative to me as lately I have been thinking about my own struggles with work and life.
Like many of you, I travel a fair amount. Not as much as some, but plenty more than most. I have an understanding wife and three great teenage kids. Their understanding only goes so far however. I feel schizophrenic about this topic in the sense that I love to visit and experience amazing places. Recently work has taken me to Milan, Paris and Munich. In November I will travel to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Hong Kong. I get to experience different cultures, soak up the local history while enhancing my world view, and I get to know my colleagues on a more intimate level through sharing planes, trains and meals together. But on the flip side I am leaving my family for extended periods, often putting the parenting burden on my spouse. I have heard comments in my house like, “is dad gone again?! What about my game or concert?” Or worse, when there is a family crisis and you are 4000 miles away. Yep, been there too.
All of us face these difficulties. It is the work life struggle we are so interested in studying. What’s wrong with wanting it all? What is all? Is it possible to be really good at everything – parenting, partner, career, sibling, child, coach and leader?
In these questions is a little bit – or a lot – of each of us. It is likely different for each of us too. If I’m honest, for me it’s about building and improving. I want that at home, as in building a solid foundation for my kids, building a secure future for my wife, and improving our relationships over time. At work, it’s about building this brand, building a community of people around the notion of work and life, and constantly improving our offer so that we all feel like we have made the future a little better.
We hope to glean insights from posing these questions. From insights comes ideas, desires and aspirations and yes, inspiration. We’ll continue to ponder the questions and we would love to have you ponder them with us. How are you doing with the dance?
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