The problem: senior executives in this generation feel they can’t achieve “balance” through constant juggling which prevents them from engaging meaningfully at work or at home.
The solution: after five years of interviewing 4,000 executives (44% female and 54% male) from 51 countries, HBR found the executives were more focused – and effective – when they made deliberate choices about which opportunities to pursue in both realms.
The outcome: leaders who carefully manage their own human capital in this way maintain a higher degree of satisfaction professionally and personally.
The main finding was to zero in on what really matters. In particular, three key points were made:
- Life happens. Be aware that even the most dedicated executives may have their priorities upended by a personal crisis and it is not wise to ignore this possibility.
- There are multiple routes to success. Different work/life balance solutions work for different individuals and families. Some have stay-at-home partners, others make sacrifices to allow both to work. Decisions have to be made about where to concentrate efforts and questions about childcare, at home support, work travel and even how they manage communication from home eg allowing smartphones at the dinner table, need to be asked.
- No one can do it alone. Of the many paths to success, none can be walked alone. A strong behind-the-scenes support network is crucial – and members of that network must have their needs met too.