Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Can Leaders Really Balance it All?

There’s that age old saying “you can’t have your cake and eat it too” and I am finding that in business, we have been able to have our cake and eat it too. The last few years in business have been extremely exciting for us.  It has involved some huge learning curves, some hard work but nonetheless has been fun, interesting and full of times when we could have the cake and eat it too. 
When I asked business owner, Sandra Yancey, the CEO of eWomenNetwork, a global organization, if leaders can really balance it all, we had an interesting discussion.  Sandra talked so eloquently about the importance of choosing what leaders and business owners focus on. This resonated for me because I often say in my presentations and seminars that the thoughts you choose are so important, because they frame everything (how you communicate to others, how you show up and the results you experience).  Sandra gave an example of a recent 30 city tour… This type of tour can be exhausting because of the travel however, Sandra pointed out that when you focus not on the exhaustion but on the passion (the reason she was visiting the 30 cities on the tour), you are rewarded with energy and great experiences. What you focus on really does matter. 
We talked about balance…how she balances running a global company, numerous philanthropic projects, writing books, having a family, and having a life.  Sandra provided what works for her:
-       Behind the scenes is when you can take time to refresh, kick back, and regain our energy. Take time for you!
-       Carefully choose what you focus on, and the people you associate with.
-       Know that you can’t do it all alone- build a support system, ask for help, and learn from those who have been there
-       When you love what you do it is easy to lose time, make sure you take time to be away from the business.
These tips fit in great to my philosophy on Bouncing Forward. 

Balance expert, JJ DiGeronimo states that we have to find ways to recycle our time and manage against the unknowns. JJ gave a great example whereby life happens…we’ve all been there. Challenges crop up throughout the day and then we are left wondering where the day went. She uses several systems to help her recycle time. Planning is a big part but she also stated that learning to say “no”, ensuring you are not over committing yourself, asking for help, delegating and setting reasonable expectations for yourself.  Most importantly, JJ suggests that each of us take time to enjoy the life you have created.  JJ is the author of the Working Woman’s GPS-when the plan to have it all leads you astray

You can hear more tips from these two phenomenal leaders at:

You can find out more about JJ and her book at http://www.purposefulwoman.com/
                           Sandra Yancey's book

Sandra Yancey’s new book Succeeding In Spite of Everything, comes out this summer.