5 Ways to Fix Leadership Complacency By Having Work-Life Balance
Balance is key to happiness. If you become too complacent in one aspect of your life because you focused too much on another, you risk sabotaging your happiness.
Ever wonder just how the world’s most successful business leaders manage their lives?
Well-loved movies like The Devil Wears Prada have convinced many of us that happiness is all about sacrifice. The assumption is that you can’t be successful both in your professional and personal lives. Either you prioritize your career and be complacent in your personal relationship, or you prioritize your family life and lose your career to complacency.
But in reality, that’s not always the case.
Take, for instance, LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner’s approach to work-life harmony.
He’s living proof that success or happiness is not always about sacrifice but more about balance. He’s got a happy family life while running one of the world’s most successful and most enduring companies.
So, how does he do it?
By having zero tolerance for complacency in every aspect of his life, that’s how!
In one of his speeches, Weiner said he gets excited about coming home to his family at the end of the day just as much as he gets excited about showing up at his company every morning.
“The only way I can do this is by practicing compassion in both facets of my life and not taking anything or anyone for granted,” Weiner said in the speech.
Weiner knows very well that if he drops the ball and becomes too complacent in either his personal or professional life, he won’t be truly happy.
The Importance of Work-Life Balance
Let me illustrate the importance of avoiding complacency in every aspect of your life.
Here are two scenarios you don’t want to find yourself in.
A corporate executive spends too much time and energy at work, getting too complacent about other aspects of life, thus jeopardizing their personal relationships.
Think Bill Gates.
Though he may be one of the world’s wealthiest people, the world can’t help but feel bad for him when his marriage fell apart.
Bill’s ex-wife, Melinda, has always talked about Bill being a workaholic. And coming from her, it never sounded like a compliment.
Everyone knows about Bill’s 80-120 workweeks in the early days of Microsoft. And how he refused to take a single day off just for vacation.
In cases like Bill’s, work-life balance may be attributed to an unhealthy work environment that’s way too focused on productivity. But we all know Microsoft’s workaholic culture was imposed by none other than Bill himself.
He basically forced himself (along with his executives and employees) to spend all their time at work, thus promoting complacency in other aspects of their lives.
A corporate executive spends way too much time having fun that they get too complacent at the workplace.
Take my personal story, for instance. I almost lost everything because I became too complacent with my own childcare company.
At the prime of my entrepreneurial life, I started taking four-day weekends, thinking I deserved to be lazy after all the hard work I put into the company.
And before I knew it, business had gone so bad I almost couldn’t save it.
The only thing I could do to keep the company alive was to take out $340,000 on my home mortgage.
It was awful!
But after getting myself out of that hell, I realized the reason why I stopped working so hard in the first place.
It was because of the unhealthy work environment I imposed on myself and my team as the leader of the company.
I worked myself dry to the bone, and that caused some major burnout!
That’s why I kept telling myself I deserved those extended breaks. That must be why I lost interest or became too complacent in work.
At that point, I realized it was wrong to be so engrossed with work that you forget to have fun, but it was equally wrong to be so complacent with work while you’re out having fun!
5 Ways Work-Life Balance Can Fix Complacency
Learning from Jeff Weiner’s example, the key is really having a healthy relationship with both work and life, and avoiding complacency at every turn.
Here are six ways you can do just that:
Find a Job You Like
As I mentioned earlier, burnout is a major accomplice of complacency. If you hate your job, you’ll be more excited about coming home at the end of the day than you’d be showing up for work in the morning.
Since our goal is to be equally as excited about working and coming home, it is imperative to find a job you actually like doing. Because if work hardly feels like work to you, you can overcome complacency by constantly being excited about what you do.
Set a Hard Deadline to Unplug From Work Every Day
Again and again, avoiding complacency in every aspect of your life requires a delicate balancing act.
Doing well in your business is not the end-all, be-all of life, especially if work is taking away your precious family time and your me-time.
Do not be complacent when it comes to nurturing and giving time for your personal relationships. Remember: you don’t want to be the rich, lonely CEO everyone feels sorry for.
So, set a hard deadline to unplug from work every day.
Say, when the clock strikes 5 in the afternoon, you turn off your work notifications and log off all your work accounts. Whatever happens, the next time you check your email will be the next morning.
Make it a habit to stick with this deadline, and you’ll find yourself in a better position with life’s balancing act.
Mind Your Health
Another aspect of life you should never be complacent about is your personal health.
Your performance at work, your presence as a family member, and even the way you show up for your friends all hinge upon you being in top health.
Work hard and play hard, but never at the expense of your own health.
Remove Time Wasters From Your Routine
It’s hard enough to establish a work-life balance with all the things that require your attention.
So, why waste your time with silly things that do nothing but promote complacency?
Things like debating with Twitter trolls…
Or reading lengthy gossip threads…
Or even setting up long business meetings that could have been an email.
All these things should be struck out of your routine in favor of more productive things—or even rest.
Innovate, innovate, innovate
The strongest antidote to complacency is innovation.
May it be in your company or your personal relationships, you’ve always got to think of new ways of doing things.
As a business leader, you’ve got to keep things exciting for your employees. Incentivize innovation, and let everyone in the office know you will reward them for coming forward with innovative ideas for the business!
Remember: just because business is doing well right now doesn't mean it will be that way forever. So, innovate while you can and future-proof your business!
As for your personal life, complacency can creep up in the form of relationships going cold. In that case, you’ve got to innovate and think of ways to bring back the spark with your partner, the spark in the eyes of your children, or even the spark of friendship with your mates.
Overcome Complacency Through Work-Life Harmony
As with most things, striking the perfect work-life balance is easier said than done.
We’ve watched too many CEOs lose their personal relationships because of too much work, and we’ve also seen business leaders fall from grace because of too much partying.
But if you look closely at any one of those situations, you’ll find that complacency is the common culprit.
So, to avoid the tragedy of having a work-life imbalance, you’ve got to nip complacency in the bud.
Now, the good news is that you don’t have to do it all alone.
You can reach out to me and find out how my speaking services can help you avoid complacency by having work-life harmony.