Yes, your lessons
from home applied to work can generate
The challenge of achieving
"balance" between home and work life is a very real
issue for many women. Whether you are a
new mom trying to start a business, a business
professional on the climb with conflicted feelings
of wanting to start a family, a mom with grown
kids reentering the workforce, or some other
variation where balancing the demands of being a
mom with your life at work can be a point of
stress and guilt.
corporate life, many women are afraid of the "mommy
track," and what they believe could be the end of
their career track and top money earning
dropping-out-of-your-career fears that can grip many
women at the start of their careers.
is one of the key reasons that woman
entrepreneurs are the fastest growing segment in
business today. Companies are increasingly looking
to offer flexible work arrangements in order to
keep working moms contributing more
effectively. Women need lives that
I don't particularly like the word
"balance." The term further reinforces the
idea that you need to take from one side, in order to
give to the other. Either taking
from home to give to work, or taking from work to give
to home as a way to maintain the
I think this is
the wrong mindset.
prefer to use the word "blend" because you aren't taking
away from one in order to give to the other, but instead
you are blending the two; taking the best of
what each has to offer. By
doing so, you actually add to both dimensions.
You can become a better mom through your work and you
can become a better worker because of your experience as
The lines become less blurred and your
skills and talents are more easily accessed and
transferred from one to the other.
try to "balance" your life, you never fully commit
to one side or the other. When you are at
work, you feel you should be home.
When you are home, you feel you should be
at work. Nobody
wins. Everyone, such as your kids, your
boss, your family all get mixed messages. And you
don't feel so great.
book, "The Connected and Committed Leader Lessons
from Home. Results at Work." outlines seven
insights that have parallels between my inseparable
worlds of home and work. I believe that
leadership is an essential component to effective
parenting, much as it is a critical element in achieving
sustainable business results. I learned many of
these insights through my experience as a mom, but its
application to business is evident because of my more
than 20 years in corporate leadership roles.
If you try
to rid yourself from the constraints and
"rules" that the roles of mother","
parent" or "business leader" prescribe for
you, and instead look to enhance these experiences from
one side to the other, you would have more
well-rounded children and more humane
workplaces. I don't know about you, but this is
something I am signing up for!
can motherhood prepare you for the boardroom? You
bet! And even if the boardroom
isn't where you want to go, then at least these tips
will help you get the results you are looking for.
Here are five points to get you on
your "blending" journey:
Don't leave parts of yourself at
the business door.
The more you can be
just ONE person, the happier, more fulfilled
and ultimately more successful you will be at home
and in business. Think about your work as a part of
you and don't check parts of yourself at the door. Remember that
creativity and innovation come from the "softer", less
structured sides of ourselves.
roles. Have fun and
bring lightness to your work that you would have
with your kids and life outside of work. Being
overly serious and heavy is not conducive to being
productive; in fact it often works against
at home as you would at work. Leadership
isn't about being the boss. In fact, once you
think you're "the boss", "the authority" or "the mom who
said so", you no longer can lead. Leaders are
those who inspire others to be their best. Lead
with compassion, curiosity and belief.
that all people want to be loved and accepted; just like
Love does have
a place in business. In fact, better
results can be achieved when people are fulfilled and
feel as is their contributions make a difference. When we lead
with our hearts, others do follow. Remember to
bring your heart to work.
Commit to where and what you are
Recognizing that you can't
do everything 100% for 100% of the time is critical in
blending two worlds together. When you accept
that some days you will be a better mom than others, and
other days you will be a better business leader than
others, you are going to feel better about blending both
Don't waste energy wishing you were somewhere
else, this just makes you ineffective on both
Laura Lopez is a
leadership specialist and branding expert with more than
20 years of corporate leadership experience. Most
recently Laura Lopez was a VP with The Coca-Cola Company. Laura's
book, The Connected and Committed Leader is
available via her website www.laura-lopez.com, your local
bookstore or on www.Amazon.com. As the owner of
her own business, Laura helps companies and business
associations achieve more sustainable business results
through the power of effective leadership and
branding. She is available for speeches, workshops
and customized programs. Laura can be contacted
via her website at www.laura-lopez.com