Leadership is: Juggling

A Balanced Life?

Man maintains his balance, poise, and sense of security only as he is moving forward. – Maxwell Maltz

A lie wrapped in layers of common sense does not give validity to the lie, it only allows us to pursue a lie unaware.

The lie that most leaders often pursue is the mystically balanced life. I’m sad to say that there is no such thing, personally or professionally. The reason is, a balanced life indicates your attention and actions are equally distributed to all areas of your life. As leaders we know this is highly improbable!

I believe that life is to be juggled, and I’m not the only one who believes this. In her talk, “What I Wish I Knew When I Was 20,” which is also one of her books, Tina Seelig shares Carol Bartz’s idea that “you need to look at balance over a long period of time and catch it before it hits the floor.”

Here are some of my observations on juggling:

1. Juggling requires that we identify all the pieces. Before we start juggling we must know what all we are going to juggle. A helpful resource for this endeavor is John Maxwell’s book “Today Matters.”

2. Juggling requires knowing the condition of the pieces. Leaders can’t effectively juggle if we do not know the condition of the piece. Some pieces are lighter, some are heavier. We must not overestimate or underestimate what we are juggling. If we do we will throw off our ability to effectively react to what is falling.

3. Juggling requires being aware of what is falling. In order to successfully juggle leaders must give attention to what is falling. The lesson here is to be aware of all of our pieces and know which one is closest to the floor so that we can give it the support it needs. This should be considered our priority above all else.

4. Juggling requires supporting the falling pieces. Leaders must give support (attention + action) to the falling area(s) of our lives. If we’ve focused more on work than we have on family, it’s time to spend some quality time with them. If we’ve focused on information rather than implementation, it’s time to start doing more than learning.

What else would you add?

What are your thoughts on balancing vs. juggling?

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