What Do You Want Out of Life (and Work)?

In March, I wrote a post on Getting Things Done When You Are Not in Charge, by Geoffrey M. Bellman.  I want to return to Bellman’s message today, as we head into the summer months.

In many organizations, work slows just a little through the summer as employees take vacations. My favorite time of year when I worked in a corporate setting was when my boss was on vacation.  I could catch up on existing projects before I got hit with new ones.

1.  Explore Your Life Goals: This summer, I encourage each of you to think about what you want out of your life. You will need some time for reflection. So as you

           walk the beach,
           or hit some golf balls,
           or hike the mountain,
           or simply try to keep the kids from killing each other,


And ask yourself: What do I want out of life?

Write down your answer. It can be as long or as short as you want, but you’ll probably be able to fit it on one sheet of paper.  Come back to this paper at least three times during the next few weeks.  Add to it, edit it, make it yours.

2.  Explore Your Work Goals:  And then, ask yourself: What do I want out of work?

For most of us, work is a huge part of our lives.  If your work goals do not align with your life goals, you will be unhappy, both with work and with your life.  Where do you see disconnects between your life goals and work goals? What do you want more of? Less of?

Only you know what you want, out of life and out of work.  There is no right answer or wrong answer.  There is simply what you want.

Once you know what you want, you can seek to get it.  But first you have to be able to articulate what you want.

You are responsible for aligning your life and your work with your life goals. Now, take charge of yourself.

3.  Explore Your Staff Members’ Goals:  Chapter 4 of Bellman’s book outlines how you can ask your staff to explore their wants at work also.  Once you are comfortable with your own wants and goals, you might follow Bellman’s example.

Leading change requires that you know where all your constituents are coming from. Work with your staff to see how you can get your work done while satisfying everyone’s wants.

I’d love to know what you learn from this exercise. Please leave a comment.

1 Comment

Filed under Diversity, Human Resources, Leadership, Management, Work/Life, Workplace

One response to “What Do You Want Out of Life (and Work)?

  1. Pingback: Assess Your Work/Life Balance During the Holidays | Sara Rickover, Behind the Corporate Veil

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