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How to Achieve A Real Work-Life Balance

June 16, 2015

left the workforce

Is it possible to achieve the “holy grail” of a work-life balance? John Mattone is an internationally-renowned talent, leadership and culture expert and author of Talent Leadership: A Proven Method for Identifying and Developing High-Potential Employees and Intelligent Leadership: What You Need to Know to Unlock Your Full-Potential. John was recently named as one of the world’s top 10 leadership authorities and top twenty executive coaches. John recently sat down with AMA and gave his advice on this difficult task.

AMA: Many CEOs who are successful in business seem to have a personal life that is in disarray ‑‑ divorce, estranged children, or other issues.  What advice do you have for future leaders on how to balance their family needs and the needs of their companies?  It seems companies expect their promising leaders to be on 24/7.

JM: That’s a great question, and a tough one, but there is no doubt that there are plenty of people out there who probably sit there saying, “You know, my company doesn’t ask less from me.  They ask more.  My boss doesn’t ask less of me.  They ask more every day. My family doesn’t ask less of me.  They ask more.”  So the pressure to operate successfully and the expectations from a lot of different groups, including our loved ones, our families, are off the charts.  And there’s no question that we’re seeing the result of that in many individuals, and it’s not just CEOs.  It’s just people who are derailing from a personal standpoint, in terms of divorce and all kinds of challenges.

What I try to do in my work as a coach is get people to focus in on living the elements of character and going forth every day with what I call worth values. If you operate from the standpoint of worthy achievement, in that you’re not focused in on titles and money and houses and cars, but rather you’re focused on becoming the best that you can be every single day, sharpening your saw every day, and that worthy achievement is a great value to operate from.

Another factor is what I call affiliation, and that is relationships and connectedness with others. Steve Jobs is a great example of this. The late Steve Jobs, who was the world’s greatest technologist perhaps that we’ll ever see, took 41 years to recognize it’s about people and about talent.  I would say to the younger talent that you should be proud of, in your organization, the databases that you’ve got, your technology, your marketing, as well as your products and services.  Be proud of those. Every organization out there has got pride around all of their “differentiators.”  The only real differentiator is people. So, it’s about relationships.  It’s always going to be about relationships; it’s affiliation.  We’ve got to go forward with that.

The third factor is something called altruism.  What I mean by that is: It’s not about you; it’s about others, about impacting others every single day. It’s been my experience that if you can go forward with strong elements of character and you can operate with those three A’s: achievements, affiliation, altruism, then you’re going to find balance. I think if you come from the standpoint of a strong inner core of great character and great values, the probability that you’re going to work through all these challenges is much higher.

For more leadership insights from John Mattone, check out his Free Webcast.

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About The Author

John Mattone is an authority on leadership, talent, and culture. An acclaimed speaker and executive coach, he advises Fortune 1000 senior leaders on how to create cultures that drive superior operating results. He is the author of seven books including CULTURAL TRANSFORMATIONS, Talent Leadership, and Intelligent Leadership. Mattone is the creator of numerous business assessments, including the Mattone Leadership Enneagram Inventory.

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