“Connessione”

‘‘Everything comes from everything, and everything is made out of everything, and everything returns into everything.’’ — Leonardo Da Vinci

Often times there will be a word that gets lodged in my mind and makes its unwarranted existence felt at the least opportune moments. I have learnt to embrace it and like a sip of good whisky, I roll it around on my tongue and in my head, and indulge all my senses. The word, off late, is Italian – “Connessione”.

I heard in the transit lounge during an international flight, probably calling out to passengers taking a connecting flight. Little did I understand of what was said, but that word now swims in my head. I dwell deeper and learn everything there is to learn of this lovely Italian word meaning connection and the deeper I dig I find it connects right back to Leonardo Da Vinci, the painter architect, engineer and sculptor, who incidentally has been on my mind as well!!

Connessione is one of the 7 principles of Leonardo Da Vinci, a man whose creative genius was well ahead of his times. Da Vinci, the quintessential renaissance man and polymath, was a man of many interests. Everything caught his fancy (and he, mine!) Curiosity, clarity, compassion, choice, and courage were only some of his personality traits. Drawing on Da Vinci’s notebooks, inventions, and legendary works of art, Micheal Gelb’s classic book “ How to think like Leonardo Da Vinci” introduces Seven Da Vincian Principles—the essential elements of genius. If you haven’t read it as yet, it is time to pick it up right now! Gelb’s book is a handbook for everyday genius. It not only gives you insights to Leonardo Da Vinci’s mind and works but also breaks it down to give you practical pointers on exhilarating new ways to think, new ways to solve problems and think creatively. Da Vinci’s 7 principles, as Gleb notes are:

1)Curiosita: An insatiably curious approach to life and an unrelenting quest for continuous learning.

2)Dimostrazione: A commitment to test knowledge through experience, persistence, and willingness to learn from mistakes.

3)Sensazione: The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to enliven experience.

4)Sfumato: A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.

5)Arte/Scienza: The development of the balance between science and art, logic  and imagination. “Whole-brain” thinking.

6)Corporalita: The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.

7)Connessione: A recognition of and appreciation for the interconnectedness of all things and phenomena. Systems thinking.

Da Vinci realised everything in this world was connected. He writes in one of his note books “Learn how to see, realize that everything connects to everything else” Through his detailed studies of objects and concepts that caught his curiosity and attention, Leonardo found that in order to understand something, you had to look at is as part of a larger system and look for the connections that exist everywhere, but may be elusive to the untrained mind. He studied how water vapour rises from the earth to the air sand the parallels in flowing water. He observed how bones and muscles form and their relationship to movement in humans and animals. He constantly looked for similarities and contrasts. He sketched grotesque people and forms so that he could understand the concept of ugliness knowing that this will help him understand beauty. He connected what he saw and experienced with his own values and beliefs. He combined and connected disparate patterns to make new patterns.

Today so much has been studied about interconnectedness and talk to anyone about interconnectedness and the first observation that comes up is that of the butterfly flapping its wings in Tokyo, and causing a hurricane on the other side of the world. But five centuries before this much theorized observation, Da Vinci wrote “The earth is moved from its position by the weight of a tiny bird resting upon it.”

I learn that understanding this complex yet magnificent web of connections isn’t just something for the mind of a genius. Although it is hard to overstate Leonardo Da Vinci’s brilliance, recent scientific research reveals that most of us probably underestimate your own capabilities. We are gifted with virtually unlimited personal potential for learning and creativity. All we have to do, genius or not, is to open our minds to interconnectedness and the possibilities open themselves.

In order to understand and begin exploring the web of connections around us we must first begin with curiosity and gradually strive towards clarity. Contemplate the concept of wholeness. Write down in your notebook your concept of wholeness. What, precisely, does it mean to you? How can it be expressed most accurately? What is its opposite? What about conflicts that may occur? Expand these concepts to your work place. Study the dynamics of your organization. Sift through the external and internal factors that affect your organization. Explore scenarios and play around with these factors to contemplate its effect on your organization. Try drawing a diagram that represents the entire organization from different perspectives. Use the metaphor of a human body. How does that help you gain some insights into the dynamics at work in the system?

Excising the mind to map connections can soon develop into a habit that fosters interdisciplinary and multi- dimensional thinking. It will help you understand that all actions, patterns and relationships are part of the totality that envelopes the human race and equip you with insights that make you better at decision making and mindfulness.

Interconnectedness

In this write up read about the man for whom science, art, engineering, architecture, warfare and nature seamlessly inhabited the same space – a space that needed to the probed into and studied and understood – for they were all connected. Each discipline free flowing and seamless, they were all separate and beautiful but intertwined in a lover’s embrace.

He sat long hours in a cafe each day. And wrote fervently. Notes on varied topics. Sometime several topics all in one page. Sometimes you would find a to-do list with myriad tasks ranging from Cannons, wall construction, studying the sun, ice skating, optics, and one particular bullet point stating quite casually , “Draw Milan”.

Yes, if you haven’t guessed as yet – Leonardo Da Vinci – The quintessential renaissance man who was a painter, sculptor, architect, inventor, military engineer and draftsman —With a curious mind and keen intellect. Da Vinci studied the laws of science and nature, which greatly informed his work. His ideas and body of work have influenced countless artists and made Da Vinci a leading light of the Italian Renaissance.

Of course, while most of us know of his painting, the much acclaimed Mona Lisa and the last supper few us know about his notebooks. It is said that he walked around with a leather bound notebook hanging from his belt and made notes ever so often and “whenever something caught his eye,” he would make a note, or begin “sketching furiously”. “It is useful,” Leonardo wrote, to “constantly observe, note, and consider.”

In these books, spanning nearly 7200 pages and 20 volumes, we can see that in Da Vinci’s head everything was connected. He made sense of the world by observing and questioning, studying and analysing but more importantly by making connections and drawing inferences form one to another. He was one of our oldest systemic thinkers.

Nature as a whole was alive for Leonardo, and he saw patterns and process in the microcosm as being similar to those in the macrocosm. He frequently drew analogies between human anatomy and the structure of the earth, between muscles and gears. For him, understanding a phenomenon meant connecting it with other phenomenon through a series of similar patterns. When he studied the proportions of the human body he compared them to the proportions of building in Renaissance architecture. His investigations of muscles and bones led him to study and draw gears and levers, thus interlinking animal physiology an engineering, patterns of turbulence in water led him to observe similar pattern in the flow of air or sometimes became the flowing locks of hair of a beautiful woman in one of his paintings.

This ability to interconnect observations and ideas from different disciplines is something that we can take a leaf out of and apply it in our own complex work and family lives. It helps us understand that everyone and everything is part of a system. Each person in a team influences and is influenced by the system. Each team member’s role and contribution, however small helps to hold up the system as a whole. As team leaders it may be well worth it to understand the interconnection between the various departments and verticals of our organization.

As thought leaders we may benefit from understanding the interconnections between our organization and other organizations within our industry and even outside of our industry. Just like I read somewhere that it was mathematicians (and not biologists) who are studying fireflies to understand their system of coordination and the patterns they create with their flashing lights and these learning’s are being used in the telecom industry to create better models for radio signals. Connections are everywhere, we just need to open our eyes to it and it will in turn open new horizons.

Interconnectedness

The year was 1929. Under the presidency of Jawaharlal Nehru, the Lahore congress had finalized the demand of “Purna Swaraj” or full independence for India. It had been declared that 26th January 1930, would be celebrated as the Independence day when people were to take a pledge to struggle for complete independence. But the celebrations attracted very little attention and had poor turn outs. Mahatma Gandhi was a worried man. He realised that there was a disconnect between the different fractions of society and their understanding and interpretation of “Swaraj”.

The Mahatma, realized that although India had been at the struggle for independence for nearly 70 years and “Swaraj” was a word that was at the helm of the freedom movement, it had meant different things to different people. The poor plantation workers in Assam thought of Swaraj as the freedom to visit their native places and freedom of movement in and out of plantations. For the middle class Swaraj meant the spread of education and a share of the administration of the country. For the farmers it meant a reduction in land revenue and rent while tribals in the interior parts of the nation thought Swaraj would get back their traditional rights over the forests allowing them to graze animals and collect firewood and fruit.

Mahatma Gandhi realized the concept of freedom was abstract to most. The movement lacked unity and a unified notion of why they should plough forward.

Freedom fighters were eager for a civil disobedience movement and they awaited Gandhi’s announcement of the program anxiously. For many days, Gandhi had groped in vain for inspiration. Finally it had come to him in a flash- Salt Satyagraha or the Salt March opposing the cruel taxation on Salt and the consumption of untaxed salt and promoting the local manufacture of salt.

When Gandhi announced his plan, even his close aides and associates were completely unconvinced. The Indian National Congress was mystified and incredulous. Of all things, why salt and the insignificant salt tax? Something so insignificant when many larger issues loomed forbodingly?

Superb strategist that Gandhi was, he saw in salt a powerful tool that could unite the people. Salt was the leveller, it was consumed both by the rich and the poor, men and women, rural and urban masses. Salt was the connect

As any good leader should, he had looked for something, anything, irrespective of whether it is big or small, something that connected the masses. We all know the outcome of the Salt march. It brought the till-now latent women force to the foreground with their pans and stoves to make salt and it gastronomically stirred the political sentiment of every Indian, irrespective of their status, sex, cast or Creed.

Important Team building lessons here.

• Often Team members have an unclear understanding and loose interpretations of team goals and corporate visions. It must, hence, be every team leader’s aim to find the common element that would help unify the team and drive all efforts towards well established goals.

• Commonalities drive empathy and compassion and in turn forges unity. Commonalities bridge gaps.

• As leaders, take time to learn about team members, find commonalities or shared interests and begin to highlight them in discussions. Develop a team identity and encourage people to categorize themselves as part of it.

• Engage in some out-of-office activities that enhance a sense of cohesion. Find the connectors, find the commonalities and string them along to form the cord that binds the team to each other and their common goals.

So next time you are at a team dinner look for the salt – and No, I don’t mean the one that is on the table.

Emotional Intelligence

While all of us experience a wide array of emotions, only a select few can accurately identify them and use the right words to express them. This capability of individuals to recognize their own emotions and those of others, discern between different feelings and label them is what is known as emotional Intelligence. Research shows that only 36 % of people have the words to do this. Without the insights into exactly what we are feeling and without the right words to express them, we are binging on many problems. Unlabelled emotions often go misunderstood, which leads to irrational choices and counterproductive actions.

There is a little bagful of words that we carry around all the time, the one we often refer to as our Vocabulary. We replenish our wardrobes often, throwing out old shirts and dresses that no longer fit and add fresher ones that define us better with each growing year. But that little bag of words remains unchanged. Years go by and we often hear ourselves saying the same words… “Oh that makes me so mad” “I feel bad” “I am so angry”… especially with our feelings, we tend to use very few and generic words to express how we feel.

While many might describe themselves as simply feeling “bad,” emotionally intelligent people can pinpoint whether they feel “irritable,” “frustrated,” “disappointed” or “anxious.” The more specific your word choice, the better insight you have into exactly how you are feeling, what caused it and what you should do about it. Like the anecdotal angry career women profiled in the #shradhahrdblog#, Recognizing and identifying emotions is a prerequisite for developing emotional intelligence.

So growing our kitty of words, with feeling words and self-awareness is just one of the five things we can do to be more emotionally intelligent at the workplace. According to David Goleman there are 4 more – self regulation, intrinsic motivation, Empathy and Social Skills. Developing these skills improves our Emotional quotient which plays a vital role in many everyday decisions we make at the work place, such as how we deal with pressure, decisions on promoting, hiring and firing employees and dealing with conflict and change.

Pack then a bag of feeling words and get on the long but rewarding journey of emotional intelligence. It is a journey with 5 flagship places (as listed by David Goleman ) to visit. Strew with events and eventualities, you may find yourself trudging slowing, one word or thought at a time, but a journey that rewards with better mental health, wellbeing and career success.

Corporalita – “ The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise”

The last time I voluntarily read a science journal was for an honours credit class in Astro Physics, way back in my college days. A rescheduled meeting at a bioscience company left me waiting several minutes and exposed, after so many years, to a bunch of science journals and no other reading material. Reluctantly I fingered them and had almost resigned myself to boredom, when an article on multiple personalities caught my attention. Outside of all the research data and new findings on schizophrenia (more commonly called Multiple Personality Disorder), there was a curious and actually unbelievable case study by psychiatrist Bennett Braun who describes the case of Timmy.

As we all know Multiple personality disorder is a neurological disorder characterised by the presence of two or more distinct personality identities in the same person. Each may have a unique name, personal history and characteristics. This case study was about Timmy who had multiple personalities. One personality was allergic to orange juice, and when this personality drank orange juice, Timmy would break into blistering hives. However, another personality would be able to drink orange juice quite uneventfully and with no allergic reaction whatsoever. If the allergic personality was in the midst of an allergy attack and he shifted back to the non-allergic personality, the hives would disappear instantly.

Fascinating! The power of the mind! While all the doctors in the world can research and list down a thousand data points to pinpoint the exact metabolic and chemical factions leading to this sort of an allergy to orange juice, a subconscious switch to the other personality of this boy, could make the hives disappear. There is but only one conclusion to this – that the mind has more control over the body than we can even begin to fathom.

Research has found that the mind and body have a curious synergy and they can effect and be affected by one another.

Negative thoughts and feelings takes it’s toll on one’s health, this we all know. But our body, how we carry it, how we care for it and it’s well being has a direct effect on our mind.

There now is ongoing research on how our body postures and body image affects how we see ourselves and how others perceive us. Research is also establishing that altering our body postures and language can alter our body chemistry. Social psychologist Amy Cuddy argues that “power posing” — standing in a posture of confidence, even when we don’t feel confident — can boost feelings of confidence, and can impact our chances for success.

An early proponent of this theory of how our body postures, gait and poise affect our mind was Leonardo Da Vinci. His notebooks give us an insight into his mercurial mind that was curious and fascinated by almost everything in this world. Da Vinci’s seven principles, as listed by Micheal Gelb includes “Corporalita” which means “ The cultivation of grace, ambidexterity, fitness and poise”

Da Vinci believed that in order for one to be creative we must pay attention to our body. We must mindfully work on our posture, carry ourselves with more grace and have a fitness regime. He also advices that each of us must strive to be ambidextrous… i.e develop the ability to use both hands. It is said that Da Vinci could draw with one hand and write backwards with the other. All of his note books are written backwards with mirror images of the words. Da Vinci professed that by pushing the physical limits of the body the creative side of the mind develops. The more creative the mind is the less we are boxed within constructs of perceived roadblocks and constraints, thus leading to creative decision making and more satisfying interactions with our teams and more holistic experiences.

Today’s genius strives for a healthy body that complements a healthy mind. So take a leaf out of Da Vinci’s book and take time to empower your body to support your powerful mind and feed your mind with positivity, passion and zest to find physical vigour and agility.

Giving to receive


That has been the phrase on my mind for a few weeks now. Yes, we really should give for the Joy of giving and not with the expectation of getting back. Altruistic giving – but that is not what I have been thinking about.


There are things that each one of us wants to receive at the work place that go beyond the tangible benefits of salary, designation, stability and status. It is the non-materialist things such as appreciation, loyalty, respect, commitment from your team members and other such things that are more elusive.


The more I think about it and dwell deeper into my prior experience as an entrepreneur and current one as team player, I realise that this rather basic mantra of “Give to get” could be a powerful beacon to practise #meaningfulness at work#.


So dare to give what you want most.


If it is respect from your team that you crave for, begin by respecting them in turn. A little empathy and insight into their trials and tribulations will help you develop respect for what someone brings to the table. If it is appreciation you crave for begin by appreciating someone else’s work. If you want to be understood, give it the best you can to understand. If you want to grow your business, help those around you grow theirs. If you want certain connections and contacts, share yours with others.


It never fails – the energy you put out will always recirculate and find its perfect way back to you. Giving and receiving are two halves of one circle, a circle that will encompass everything you hold dear- friends family, careers, progress, power. So chart your half of the circle by giving and the universe will chart the other to ensure you receive.

#giving# #mindfulness# #leadership# # meanigfulnessatwork#

Series on Work-Life Balance: How Successful Executives Manage

We live in a 24/7 culture that’s always on. With the ability to stay connected around the clock, the lines between work and home have blurred. Work-life balance and work-life integration can be hard to manage, but we found successful executives who have figured out how to remain successful while still making time for their friends and family.

Indra K. Nooyi CEO, PepsiCo- Nooyi doesn’t believe women can have it all, but she does believe a balance can be achieved. “I don’t think women can have it all. I just don’t think so. We pretend we have it all. We pretend we can have it all. My husband and I have been married for 34 years. And we have two daughters. “And every day you have to make a decision about whether you are going to be a wife or a mother, in fact, many times during the day you have to make those decisions,” she tells The Atlantic. She admits that “meticulously planning” her life has allowed her to be a “decent parent,” and she believes her daughters, if asked, would say she is a good mom. To balance her work and life Nooyi allows her personal assistant to give her children permission to do certain things when they call the office. Nooyi provides her assistant with a set of questions that when answered correctly allow her children to play with friends, play video games, and take part in other activities.

Mark Weinberger, CEO, Ernst and Young- “At any moment you are going to feel guilty about what you’re not doing, like today I’m missing the World Economic Forum in Europe to move my daughter into her dorm in USC,” EY CEO Mark Weinberger tells Time. Among our list of executives, Weinberger has perhaps the most family-focused approach to work-life balance. Following a meeting in China, EY’s CEO was asked if he would be taking selfies with his employees at the Great Wall. He said that wouldn’t be possible because he needed to be back in Washington, DC, the following day to take his daughter to her driving test. His message has resonated with employees. “Afterwards, I got hundreds of emails: Not a single person remembered the terrific speech I gave, but everybody remembered I went home for my daughter,” he tells Time.

Marissa Mayer, CEO, Yahoo- Marissa Mayer, CEO, YahooMarissa Mayer took only two weeks’ maternity leave when her son was born. But she didn’t compromise on spending time with her newborn: She had a nursery built next to her office. Of course not everyone has the opportunity to bring their children to work. For those workers, Mayer offers a simple suggestion: “Find your rhythm.” “Avoiding burnout isn’t about getting three square meals or eight hours of sleep. It’s not even necessarily about getting time at home,” she tells Bloomberg. “I have a theory that burnout is about resentment. And you beat it by knowing what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful. I tell people: Find your rhythm. Your rhythm is what matters to you so much that when you miss it you’re resentful of your work.”

Kim Jabal, CFO, Weebly- “The only way that anyone can balance work and family or work and personal life, is if everyone within an organization agrees that ‘life balance’ is critical to the overall well-being of employees and the productivity, and effectiveness of the company,” Jabal tells Business Insider. Jabal says flexibility is key when finding your work-life balance. She has no problem leaving work early for family dinners if it means taking a few hours at the end of the night to finish her work. “Rigid work hours and work location make it much more challenging,” Jabal says. Her plan seems pretty straightforward. “Home an hour in the morning, get kids to school, work in the office 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., have dinner with kids, work three hours at night,” she says.

Employees put in the same number of hours but spend a critical few hours with their family members. Jabal also says both parents need to make sure parenting is 50-50 from day one. “It’s not just the mom’s job. It’s the parents’ job,” she says.

Source: www.businessinsider.in

Series on Work-Life Balance: Richard Branson style

“Running a business (or many of them!) can be a stressful endeavour,” says Sir Richard Branson, the billionaire chairman of the Virgin Group. “Looking back over my 50 years as an entrepreneur one of the major keys to my success has been my ability to maintain a healthy balance between work and play.”

Richard says that he has six habits that help him to achieve a healthy work-life balance, no matter where he is travelling at the time. Here’s his secrets:

1. Rise early- “I tend to wake up at 5am so that I can use the early morning hours to get some exercise and spend time with my family,” he says. “This routine helps put me in a positive mindset before I get down to business.” He admits that this won’t work for everyone but recommends finding a “routine that enables you to work on your most challenging tasks when you’re at your most productive”.

2. Limit screen time- Richard admits that he loves social media, email and the communication opportunities that technology provides, but says “you can’t let your devices take control, especially if you’re a busy entrepreneur”. He limits himself to checking email and social media only at the start of his working day, and then again at intervals that he determines for himself, rather than letting it take over his day. “If you’re not paying attention, social media can become a distraction and a hindrance, rather than a highly useful business tool and a fun way to communicate,” he warns. “Monitor your usage of your devices so that they don’t run your life.”

3. Write lists- It’s a well-known fact that Richard carries a notebook everywhere, he’s forever scribbling away and jotting things down. “This technique has helped to make Virgin what it its today,” he says. “Everything from our original logo to our first business plan all began as scribbles in a notebook.” He recommends finding what works for you – doodles, charts, bullet points. “Or, just write down what you need to accomplish and cross tasks off as you complete them,” he says. “There’s something very satisfying about ticking items off a list.”

4. Make time for sports- “I get up early to exercise because it gives me energy, improves my focus and concentration, and even helps me sleep better at the end of the day,” Richard says. He chooses to kite surf, saying it’s a “good opportunity to get away from all the other stresses of life and business”. But it doesn’t matter what kind of exercise you do, Richard says, find “something you like doing, perhaps a sport or a routine at the gym, to keep yourself focused throughout the day”.

5. Make time for loved one- Virgin is a family business and Richard says he wouldn’t be where he is today if it wasn’t for his family. “I make it a priority to spend time with my wife Joan every single day,” he says. “It reminds me of why I do what I do.” He suggests setting some time aside every day for your loved ones – even if it’s just a phone call or a Skype chat. “Switch your emails off and give them your full attention, even if it’s just half an hour,” he says. “You’ll be more relaxed, and may even learn things from them that can help in your business.”

6. Embrace something new- Richard loves having new experiences and aims to learn at least one new thing every day. He views life as one long educational experience. “No matter what your career goals are, try to do something different each day,” he suggests. “See where it takes you, and what you can learn. This has made every day of my life an adventure – who knows where it might take you!”

Source: www.virgin.com

Series on Work-Life Balance: Trade-offs

Bill Gates, in an interview for BBC Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, revealed that he was so driven during the early years of Microsoft in the 1970’s that he couldn’t help but keep tabs on which Microsoft warriors stayed vigilant along the front and which ones had retreated home for the night. Gates said eventually the fanaticism didn’t last forever.

Gates said, “I knew everyone’s license plate,” he told the BBC, “so I could look out in the parking lot and see when did people come in, when were they leaving.” Gates admitted, “I was quite fanatical about work” during those early days. “I worked weekends, I worked weekends, I didn’t really believe in vacations.”

Gates said the fanaticism didn’t last forever. “Eventually I had to loosen up, as the company got to a reasonable size,” he said. And he said that meeting his wife, Melinda, also changed the equation. “She arrived at kind of the perfect time, and we fell in love … Now we actually take quite a few vacations. I’m sure myself in my twenties would look at my schedule now and find it very wimpy indeed.”

But it’s unlikely Gates would ever have found the worldly success that he enjoys if not for that “beginner’s hunger” that drove him in the early years. Beginner’s hunger drives people who aspire to do great things in every realm of human endeavor—entrepreneurs, artists, rock stars, politicians, military leaders, social-justice workers, prophets and priests.

These people don’t want work-life balance. They want to be imbalanced. It’s what makes them feel alive. They constantly make sacrifices to reach their goal, even without realizing they’re sacrifices. And if and when they reach their goal, that beginner’s hunger dissipates, and they shift into a less frantic, long-term mode. But first comes the single-minded fanaticism, often for many years and often at the expense of many other things.

And so comes an either-or choice:

1.You feel you need to gamble everything on achieving greatness in some area; or

2.You commit yourself to balancing out your career with your family, social obligations and personal interests.

If you choose the first option, you need to accept that there will be trade offs — you will miss children’s piano recitals, lose relationships altogether, and miss out on some of the most deeply fulfilling but passive aspects of human existence.

If you choose the second option, you have to get over the idea that you’ll go as far in your career as the talented, fanatical rivals who are working three hours longer per day and who are far readier than you to pounce on a new opportunity. You accept that you may achieve at best a good station in your career but not a great one.

Yes, being a single-minded workaholic isn’t psychologically healthy. Frankly, great people usually aren’t psychologically healthy. They don’t know how to be, and that’s the source of their fanatic’s advantage. It becomes our job, then, for each of us to decide whether to be fanatics who risk it all for greatness … or to be balanced people who find all the greatness we need within the very act of balance.

Source: www.forbes.com

Series on Work-Life Balance: Steve Jobs

The New York Times had published the eulogy that Steve Jobs’s sister wrote to celebrate his life at his funeral. With her words, Mona Simpson paints a picture of a man who was commercially successful and had professional presence – and who was larger than life and really knew how to live.

From her touching eulogy, we can gather a few simple work-life balance lessons from a man who was very successful in his work life and simultaneously present in his home life.

1. Do what you love. According to Jobs’s sister, “Steve worked at what he loved. He worked really hard. Every day. That’s incredibly simple, but true.” The time that Steve Jobs invested in his job was worthwhile, despite his untimely death, because he felt true passion for his work. He felt fulfilled by what he did at the office each day. It was worth it to leave his home each morning to participate in the work he loved, so his work-life balance made sense.

2. Do it yourself. Only you can maintain your own work-life balance. If you become so absorbed in work and so far removed from normal life that the only side of you anyone sees is your professional presence, there might be a problem with your ability to find balance. Even as a very successful businessman, Jobs made the time to dress casually and pick a family member up from the airport. Jobs’s sister describes, “Even as a young millionaire, Steve always picked me up at the airport. He’d be standing there in his jeans.” Delegating is an important management skill, but connecting to ordinary life is an important work-life balance skill. Make sure to mow your own lawn and iron your own shirts every now and again.

3. Cultivate your interests. Despite his commercial success, his professional presence, and his investment in his career, Steve Jobs also cultivated his outside interests, such as travel, gardening, and boats. His sister asks, “What other C.E.O. knows the history of English and Chinese tea roses and has a favorite David Austin rose?” By similarly investing in your outside interests, you will be a more well-rounded person, and you will be more able to return to work refreshed and ready to give it your all after taking time for yourself.

4. Cultivate your love. One of Jobs’s primary characteristics was his deep love for and abiding interest in his wife and his four children. Indeed, “he believed that love happened all the time, everywhere,” according to his sister. With love for his family set as his primary concern, his work-life balance came naturally.

How do you consciously work toward greater balance between your work life and personal life?

Source: www.employeedevelopmentsystems.com