In a recent post I mentioned a how an email query about work/life balance turned into a discussion about success.
But back to the work/life balance question that started it: “Do you think people who are extremely successful have less work/life balance?”
I have a couple thoughts about this question.
First, some people who make it to the top in business either fail in, or choose not to prioritize, another area of life. Health and family are two common victims.
However, not all do this. In my observation, those who make it to the top and stay there for a long time tend to be taking good care of a broad spectrum of their lives.
“Sustainable Success” is a lot different and more difficult than momentary success.
Secondly, I am a believer in “strategic imbalance.”
Perhaps a better word than imbalance is neglect- neglecting an area that other people prioritize.
This means that I will choose to de-emphasize or drop certain things in my life either for a period of time or permanently in order to excel in another area.
I think all successful people (those who are far above the average in an endeavour) have done this in some way. But if we do it in a critical area- finances, health, spirituality- we will eventually crater.
So rather than work/life balance or some other kind of balance, I pursue “sustainable strategic imbalance.”
It’s strategic in the sense that I choose where to be imbalanced.
And it’s sustainable in the sense that the imbalance (or neglect) isn’t in a critical area that will create problems down the road.
I think people who are successful over the long term need to live in sustainable, strategic imbalance.