What Successful Work-Life Integration Looks Like

Harvard Business Review published an article by Stew Friedman which studied 6 individuals who achieved success not despite of having full lives outside of work, but because they do. The list includes Sheryl Sandberg, Michelle Obama, and Bruce Springsteen among others. The author suggests that each found integration by discovering - through trial and error - ways to allow the different parts of their lives reinforce and enhance each other. 

Excerpt from the article:

"Each has identified a life’s work that is important to them, and each both draws on and gives back to their families and communities in order to make that life’s work succeed. They exemplify how one can cultivate a life in which values, actions, social contribution, and personal growth exist in harmony. It’s a life in which disparate pieces fall into place, not every single day — that’s the impossible myth of “work/life balance” — but over the course of a lifetime.

Yes, these six people are extraordinary – but they use skills that all of us can use to make ourselves a bit more extraordinary, too.

Start by considering three principles: be real, be whole, and be innovative. To be real is to act with authenticity by clarifying what’s important to you. To be whole is to act with integrity by recognizing how the different parts of your life (work, home, community, self) affect one another. All this examination allows you to be innovative. You act with creativity by experimenting with how things get done in ways that are good for you and for the people around you.

Doing this means thinking and talking about what truly inspires you, whatever that might be. It requires figuring out how to take incremental steps that are under your control and that move you in the direction you want to go, while bringing others along with you. It’s not easy (and I never said it was). But like these six people, you can attain significant achievement in a way that fits who you are. As these leaders show, your own way is the only way that will work for you."

Read the full article here, and get the book here.