Do you ever stop to think about why you are working?
Or who you are working for?
For most of us work is something we have to do. We have no choice. It is essential for our survival and so is unavoidable and inescapable.
But what about your employer – the person or organisation you work for? There perhaps you have more choice. So, if you have no choice about the need to work, but you do have a choice as to whom you work for, what does your place of work say about you? Or, to put it more directly, who do you really work for?
The fact is that each and every one of us ultimately works for ourselves. Irrespective of the name of the organisation, who you boss is, or who pays your wage, your work is how you spend a large part of your waking life. And it is your life and no-one else’s. So it is part of your self-expression and when you boil it down to the lowest level, there is no getting away from it: you are ultimately working for yourself.
Think about that for a moment. Then ask yourself how this changes your attitude to your work. After all, if you are not enjoying your work or maximising your personal potential, you are effectively wasting your life, aren’t you? And since to the best of our knowledge we only get one, and that one is pretty short, it seems a pity to waste it, doesn’t it?
So you see, it’s not about work-life balance – it’s about work-life integrity.
Now change hats. Think of yourself as the employer. How do you view your people? Do you see them as a “resource” and there to do only what you tell them? Or do you see them as people who, like you, are also trying to make the most of their short lives? If so, what are you doing to help them?
The good news is that, whatever you do, you will create greater work-life integrity for both your people and you. This will inevitably transform performance all round. And that makes it worth thinking about, doesn’t it?