Work/Life Balance: Technology Can Be Your Friend

Work-Life Balance Technology Can Be Your Friend - Take It Personel-ly 

When it comes to work/life balance, technology, such as smart phones, are often portrayed as the villain. I often see comments and posts about how smart phones keep us tethered to the office 24/7 and how work is always able to reach us.

This is not always the case.

I have read a couple of studies, (The Mobile Phone, Perpetual Contact and Time Pressure, and a survey conducted by ILM), that mentioned that people were using mobile phones to connect with family and loved ones more than they were using them for work. And yes – we are working longer hours, but these hours were actually spent in the office and included skipping lunch and was not a result of having a work phone.

I believe that it is how you approach technology and integrate it into your life that makes all the difference. For me, my smart phone is an important tool, not a hindrance. I see the technology I use everyday as a part of my lifestyle. A mobile lifestyle.

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Leadership and Followership is About Finding Your Dance Floor


As many of my regular leaders know, I love participating in tweetchats on Twitter. Tonight on #TChat I had the opportunity to hear some great insights on Values Based Leadership by Mark Fernandes.

During the blogtalk radio show, Mark said something that resonated with me. He said that “leaders need to find their dance floors in their work and personal lives.”

What does it mean to “find your dance floor“?

It is all about finding your passion, your voice, your raison d’être.

When you find your passion, voice and raison d’être then you can inspire others.

Passion is contagious. Passion helps to translate vision and mission.

It also made me think of the “Leadership from a Dancing Guy” video by Micheal Hughes. If you haven’t seen it, click play below. Finding your dance floor doesn’t always come from leaders. It also comes from followers.

What are you doing to find your dance floor?

“Leadership from a Dancing Guy” posted on Youtube by Michael Hughes

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Leading With Love: 10 Quotes To Inspire You

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However you celebrate Valentine’s Day, remember to carry the meaning and feeling behind it with you all year long. For me that means leading with a servant heart and putting others first. It also means having compassion, empathy and active listening skills everyday.

Here are 10 of my favourite Leadership quotes to help inspire, motivate and hopefully help you feel the spirit of Valentine’s Day all year long!

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
~John Quincy Adams

The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.
~John Buchan

Leadership is a potent combination of strategy and character. But if you must be without one, be without the strategy.
~Norman Schwarzkopf

I think leadership comes from integrity – that you do whatever you ask others to do. I think there are non-obvious ways to lead. Just by providing a good example as a parent, a friend, a neighbor makes it possible for other people to see better ways to do things. Leadership does not need to be a dramatic, fist in the air and trumpets blaring, activity.
~Scott Berkun

You cannot be a leader, and ask other people to follow you, unless you know how to follow, too.
~Sam Rayburn

Leadership is not magnetic personality, that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not “making friends and influencing people”, that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person’s vision to higher sights, the raising of a person’s performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
~Peter F. Drucker

Leadership is not so much about technique and methods as it is about opening the heart. Leadership is about inspiration—of oneself and of others. Great leadership is about human experiences, not processes. Leadership is not a formula or a program, it is a human activity that comes from the heart and considers the hearts of others. It is an attitude, not a routine.
~Lance Secretan

Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others.
~Jack Welch

The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.
~Ralph Nader

Leadership is practiced not so much in words as in attitude and in actions.
~Harold S. Geneen

What are some of your favorite quotes that you would add to this list?

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Thinking Outside Of Your To-Do List


If you are like me there are probably aspects of your job that you procrastinate about or leave for the end of the day….or better yet, for another day. I am guilty of doing that. My dreaded task is filing. I just don’t find it exciting and I usually end up with paper cuts. I will find just about any excuse to push it off for later.

There are lots of different strategies around how to organize your daily tasks or your ‘to-do’ list. Some people say do the easiest/quickest things first thing. Others say do the biggest/hardest thing first. No matter how you tackle your to-do list, my challenge to you is to think outside of your to-do list.

Thinking outside of your to-do list requires you to step back and think of the bigger picture.

No matter your position or job title everything you do has an impact on the organization that you work for. Every position is important and has value. Everyone from the President, Management, to Front Line Staff and Housekeeping contribute to the overall success of the organization that you work for. Every task has an impact on someone else….a ripple effect.


Every position works in symbiosis with another position or several.

So while you think a mundane task may not be important – it is to someone else.

Think about how your work will affect the other people around you. Be present, do your best work….and be consistent…. While there is a lot of talk recently about employees and their lack of engagement on the job, you do have to take responsibility, as an employee, for getting your work done.

So think outside your to-do list.

Time to tackle that filing….

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Getting Unstuck: Using Leadership Paradox to Execute with Confidence


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The following is a guest post from Ralph Jacobson. I am very excited to be part of his book launch for Getting Unstuck: Using Leadership Paradox to Execute with Confidence.

When we see two people arguing or unable to move forward, our first assumption is that something is broken or that someone must be at fault. In the process of trying to fix the situation, we provide the “answers” that are intended to reduce the tension that has ensued. We might see someone as being unreasonable, not having the communications skills or right personality style. Sometimes that works. But in complex organizations where there are multiple disciplines, agendas, time frames, etc. there is great complexity and these simple answers are not satisfying.

Instead of seeing the unfolding of the issues as problems that can be solved perhaps the lens of paradox opens a more productive dialogue and results in greater possibilities for success. What if it isn’t anyone fault or what if it isn’t a flaw in someone? What if this is a situation in which there are multiple perspectives that are both right and wrong at the same time? What if it wasn’t personal deficiency at all? What if in fact the parties are supposed to have differences. That each from their own perspective is doing what they should. Well then how do you get to a favorable outcome? How does one then address the tensions?

In the majority of circumstances I see both formerly as a Human Resource Executive and as a consultant/coach over the last 20 years, I realized that much of the advice doesn’t work because these are not problems that can be solved. Rather they are paradoxes that must be balanced. Unfortunately the word paradox sounds off-putting, academic. The reality is that to be human requires us to deal with paradoxes every day, in most of our human encounters. Leaders spend an inordinate amount of time addressing paradoxical issues.

I wrote Getting Unstuck: Using Leadership Paradox to Execute with Confidence because I found no other book that provided practical advice to deal with leader, role, organization, and societal paradoxes. Indeed there are powerful, practical tools to address many of those issues which needlessly keep us up at night.

~Ralph Jacobson
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For more than twenty-five years Ralph Jacobson provided innovative solutions for Fortune 50 organizations as well as emerging growth companies in a wide variety of industries. For the last twenty years he has been the Principal of The Leader’s Toolbox Inc. He has held executive Human Resource positions with Medtronic, Crosfield Dicomed, and General Growth Center Companies, and has written extensively in the areas of leadership and organization change. His book, Leading for a Change: How to Master the Five Challenges Faced by Every Leader, was named one of the top business books by His new book, Getting Unstuck: Using Leadership Paradox to Execute with Confidence, is available on Amazon.

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5 Reasons Why Vision Is Important In Leadership

5 Reasons Why Vision Is Important In Leadership

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” ~ Carl Jung

Walt Disney was fired from a newspaper because he “lacked imagination and had no good ideas.”

Oprah Winfrey, at the age of 22, was fired from her job as a television reporter because she was ‘unfit for TV.”

Steven Speilberg was rejected from film school, not once…not twice…but three times.

Michael Jordan was cut from his high school basketball team.

Thomas Edison failed some 10,000 times before successfully inventing the light bulb.

What led these successful and talented people to continue despite failure and rejection?


What is Vision?

Vision is a mental picture of the future. It is an idea of what the future can hold, but has not yet happened.

Vision is the thing inside of us that guides us. It creates a desire to grow and improve. Vision embodies our hopes and ideals. It gives us a sense of purpose. Visions brings us flashes or glimpses of what is possible.

Vision is when architects dream of new buildings and designs. Or when business people dream of growing their business.

So why is Vision important in Leadership?

1) Vision shows us where we are headed.

As a leader you have to look forward and see where you and the company are headed. This is important in order to avert catastrophe before it happens, or to plan for increases in staffing, production, etc. Vision helps a leader prepare for the future. Vision keeps a leader on course during rocky times or unexpected set backs.

2) Vision provides motivation and inspires us to keep on going.

Leaders need to keep the end result in mind. A leader’s vision needs to be strong enough to carry them through to the end. Otherwise they will stop short of their goals.

3) Vision helps to keep us moving forward and move through obstacles.

If a leader has a strong vision, little set backs and obstacles will seem small and / or insignificant. They will work through them and persevere to the end, learning as they go. Vision helps leaders to persevere.

4) Vision provides focus.

With all of life’s distractions, and people vying for our attention nowadays, it can be hard to feel a sense of accomplishment. As a leader, acting on your vision will provide you with the focus needed to accomplish your goals. Vision helps leaders work on what is important to achieve the end results and not get caught up in the mundane stuff. It helps leaders to focus on the 20% that is important instead of the remaining 80% that can be delegated and handled by others.

5) Vision gives us meaning and purpose to what we do.

As a leader, it will help you to see the end result of your efforts. It will give you your “why?” and the reason that you are doing what you do.

“A leader has the vision and conviction that a dream can be achieved. He inspires the power and energy to get it done.” ~ Ralph Lauren

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Go First


Go first.

The action of going first is to take a leap of faith. It is putting yourself out there. Making yourself vulnerable. Taking a calculated risk.

Going first is summoning up the courage to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.

This means putting your inner fears aside. It means not caring what others around you will think. (You can’t please everyone all the time.)

In Leadership, going first means you set the example. You walk the talk. You are the first person to admit when you make a mistake.

It also means that when you’re building trust in teams, that you Go First. Be the first to place your trust in your team – that they know what they are doing. Trust that the people around you have the skills and abilities to get the job done.

In Leadership Going First also means that you are the first to extend a hand and help others around you. You are constantly asking others “How can I help you?”

Is Going First easy?

No. But waiting for others to reach out to you creates success in waiting.

“Don’t fear failure so much that you refuse to try new things. The saddest summary of life contains three descriptions: could have, might have, and should have.” – Louise E. Boone

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