People struggle most with seeing new ways of doing things and often need help in breaking through their tradition-bound mindsets.— Stewart D. Friedman
The most gorgeous Stewart D. Friedman quotes to get the best of your day
At the individual level, you need to examine what you truly value, share this with key stakeholders in various life domains both to get feedback and support, and then to experiment with new ways of doing things so that - over the arc of a life - you can achieve harmony and have more of what it is that you uniquely want out of life.
Knowing what matters most, what I call "being real," is the alpha and omega for leaders.
My purpose is to help people understand that leadership skills are useful and relevant for pursuing meaningful aspirations in all aspects of life, and that this is a choice, a decision, not a default.
People of all ages, but especially young people, require work that as meaning, or social value. Since they're not getting the kind of long-term guarantees of yore, they're willing to job hop to find the right fit.
We all want to have a rich and meaningful work life and a fulfilling life beyond work.
When employers no longer offer secure full-time employment with benefits, then it's hard to expect employees to be loyal, engaged, and maximally productive.
Firms that fully embrace the needs and interests of the whole person will win today's competition for the best talent.
The act of envisioning is mainly useful as a means for identifying what matters most to you now.
The principles that apply to engagement for employees are the same as those that apply to supervisors.
Invest in helping people know what matters to them and who matters to them (and why), and encourage them to continually experiment with how they get things done in ways the serve their interests and yours as an employer.
Curiosity about the world and questioning of the status quo to open minds to alternative visions of the future are essential leadership skills. And they can be learned.
If you're searching for "work/life balance" you'll always be disappointed because "balance" connotes a zero-sum equation.
Continual improvisation on a theme is a more useful way to think of how to bring the various parts of life together.
In my teaching and consulting practice, I encourage people to learn to experiment with confidence and to see themselves as scientists in the laboratory of their lives, continually trying new ways to pursue what matters most to them and to the people who depend on them. Smart, small wins are crucial to this approach, as is devoting time and attention to reflecting on what works and what doesn't.
You really can choose to be the leader you want to be, in all parts of your life, if you take seriously the idea that there's a purpose to your life worth pursuing because it matters not just to you but to others. Consciously and deliberating devoting effort to realizing this idea is ennobling, though never without some struggle.
The only failure is the failure to learn from conscious and deliberate efforts to make things better, even if those attempts fall short of the mark.
Change is surely the order of the day.
People at all levels and in all roles in organizations are wrestling with the challenges of modern life, trying to find ways to create harmony among the different parts of their lives while aiming to achieve their goals and live with purpose.
Having a 9-to-5 workday in which work is left behind when one leaves the office is no longer the norm as employers expect employees to be available outside of work.
Young men now want to be caregivers as well as earners so they have joined with women in demanding a different compact at work; they want flex and time for family too.
I've been writing for decades that balance is an inapt metaphor as it necessarily entails tradeoffs.
Boundaries are shifting between work and the rest of life for men and for women at different life stages. Work is becoming home and home is becoming work. The progressive CEOs who grasp this emergent reality and adjust to embrace it will be at a competitive advantage in the marketplace for talent.
The more attention we can devote to helping developing leaders tune in to their core values - drawing on their real experience and their true aspirations in life - the more likely it is they'll make smart choices about how and where to invest their talents.
No one can have it all, at the same time. I've never seen that.
Instead of the metaphor of scales in balance, I prefer the idea of a jazz quartet: you're trying to make music that feels and sounds good, and sometimes you only hear the trumpet or just the bass and piano. Sometimes all four are playing at the same time, but perhaps at different volume.
If you shift your mindset to asking "How can I initiate change that's good for my family, and my community, and my career, and my private self (mind, body and spirit)? then you are more likely to produce harmony in your life, over the course of your life.
I believe each life has value and that we're on this earth to leave it better than how we found it. I want people to take this to hear and to try as hard as they can to improve their capacity to do so.
Technology has changed everything.
The key to overcoming resistance to change is to frame your actions and continually adjust them as you move forward to so that those who might be affected by any changes see them as useful and beneficial for them. This isn't as hard as it sounds. You just have to be vigilant in paying attention to how you're influencing the lives of people who matter.
The worst thing you can do, despite the innumerable obstacles we confront, is to not try.
Family, community, and the realm of the private self - your mind, body, and spirit - are all important sources of the inspiration, support, and ideas we all need to lead the lives we want.
In my talks in organizations around the world I ask, "What kind of leadership do we need now?" The most common responses are "adaptable," "flexible," and "innovative." This isn't surprising, in light of how fast and overwhelming is the pace of change in our world.
There are many structural changes, both in organizational practice and social policy, that must also change to enable men and women to have the freedom and support to pursue the lives they want to lead. Fortunately, many more people are today engaged in these efforts than when started working on this issue decades ago.
I am very gratified to have lived to see a revolution in the field of work/life: Everyone - men and women, employees and employers - now has this issue top of mind.
"Leading" is about mobilizing people toward valued goals.
Women make up half our workforce and this has an impact at home on spouses and children. This means the workplace must change because women - who have historically been the primary caregivers at home - are now fully in the workforce and here to stay.
Of course that's the best way to continue to learn anything: Try to teach it!
I'm a humanist and an optimist.
I find that many people have a hard time, at first, in painting a compelling image of an achievable future; to envision their legacy, that is. Often this is because they're afraid to commit for fear of failure.
Michelle Obama is a powerful example of someone who has learned how to align her actions with her values, manage boundaries across domains of life, and embrace change courageously.