Start with Yourself, Chapter Nine, displays Eric’s notion that a valuable quality of leadership is the ability to balance work and life. They make it clear that this is an aspect they value in others, too. Individuals establish a pattern for their personal life – whether it’s being home for dinner four nights a week, attending choir practice, or being a part of their kids’ school activities. Whether through unpaid leave or flexible scheduling, they provide people with the opportunity to lead productive personal lives. This results in the elevation of trust levels throughout an organization.
Michele, managing partner of a San Francisco law firm, clearly values and appreciates her quality family time. She’s up front about her personal time and her need to attend her children’s soccer and softball games. “These are just too important for me to miss,” she says.
Michele doesn’t set a double standard. What goes for her goes for the other lawyers and employees in her firm. Consequently, people are given the opportunity to leave work behind while focusing on the value of family. They are encouraged to indulge in family society and events. It’s part of the culture, based on Michele’s deeply held personal values. And she would have it no other way.
The executive director of a non-profit agency, David, posseses a true love for travel and eco-tourism. When vacationing, he often takes his family to places of isolation and relaxation where his work life cannot interfere. Often, he stays away for several days at a time. He understands the significance and importance of this time in his life. He recognizes the need to hone his focus and renew his ambitions.. His team of managers is fully supportive of David’s travels “off the grid” because they know they are free to do the same themselves.
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