In today’s society, executives will tell you that the balance between work and life is basically an ideal. However, by carefully choosing which opportunities they will pursue and which opportunities will be reduced, rather than simply responding to emergencies, leaders can and do meaningfully participate in work, family and community. Through hard experience, they found that success in senior positions is a meticulous combination of work and family, so as not to lose their own, loved ones or a successful foothold. People who do this most effectively involve their families in work decisions and activities. They are also vigilant in managing their human capital and are working hard to give them the work and housing they are due in a few years instead of weeks or days.
Through research on business leaders in this century, they say they maintain balance and harmony in their professional and personal lives. In this article, we use Harvard Business School students to conduct a five-year interview with nearly 4,000 executives around the world and a survey of 82 executives in the Harvard Business School Leadership Program.
In fact, this balance cannot be completely controlled, and unsatisfactory things in life happen from time to time. However, many of the managers we have studied, both men and women, have been motivated by this challenge while keeping in touch with their families. Their stories and recommendations reflect five main themes: defining success for themselves, managing technology, building support networks at work and home, selectively traveling or migrating, and working with partners.
When you lead a major project, you will decide as early as possible what a victory should look like. The same principles apply to well-thought-out life: you must define what success means to you, and of course your definition will evolve over time.
There are some interesting gender differences in our survey data: when defining career success, women value personal achievement more than men, are enthusiastic about work, are respected and make changes, but are less valuable for organizational achievement and continuous learning and development. Compared with men, women rank economic achievement as one aspect of personal or professional success in a lower proportion. Valuable interpersonal relationships are by far the most common factor in individual success for both sexes, but men only regard family ownership as a sign of success, while women describe their good family life. Women are also more likely to mention the importance of friends, communities and families.
Survey answers include short phrases and lists, but in interviews, executives often define personal success by telling stories or describing the ideal self or time. Such narratives and self-concepts can serve as incentive objectives to help people differentiate priorities of activities and understand conflicts and contradictions.
When work and family responsibilities collide, for example, men may lay claim to the cultural narrative of the good provider. Several male executives who admitted to spending inadequate time with their families consider absence an acceptable price for providing their children with opportunities they themselves never had. One of these men, poor during his childhood, said that his financial success both protects his children and validates his parents’ struggles. Another even put a positive spin on the breakup of his family: “Looking back, I would have still made a similar decision to focus on work, as I was able to provide for my family and become a leader in my area, and these things were important to me. Now I focus on my kids’ education…and spend a lot more time with them over weekends.”
But even those who have achieved a so-called balance in their work and life will feel proud of it and still compare themselves with traditional male ideals. One interviewee said: “The 10 minutes I give my children at night are one million times longer than the 10 minutes I spend at work.” It’s hard to imagine a woman complacent about spending 10 minutes a day with her children, but a man might think the same behavior is typical.
Both men and women express a sense of guilt and link individual success with no regrets. They usually respond by giving a specific meaning to a particular indicator, such as never missing a minor league game, or registering once a day, anyway. One interviewee said: “I just put the dinner with my family in the first place, just like meeting my most important customers at 6 pm.” Another suggested this: “Designing you House, there is a table in the kitchen, your child can do homework there, and your husband cooks, you drink a glass of wine.” Although she expressed it in the form of advice, it is obviously her personal, specific The image of a successful family.
Among the many roads that can lead to success, none of them can walk alone without relying on other roads. In the pursuit of a rich career and personal life, men and women will certainly continue to face difficult decisions about where to concentrate. But you need to pay attention to make your work and life balance.