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Creating YOUR Advantage 
Newsletter
 
 Do you blend your two worlds?
 
In this Issue
Can parenting prepare you for the boardroom?
Order Laura's Book
 
 
 
Are you a Connected and Committed Leader?
 
May, 2008


     They say that being a parent can stretch you.  I believe this to be true.  My daughter Leila was a big catalyst in my life.  Without my daughter and the lessons she has given me, I wouldn't have written my book, nor become a leadership speaker.
     Can being a parent prepare you for the board room?  Do lessons from home translate to more effective business results?  Yes, and yes again!
     With as much discussion people have on work/life balance concerns coupled with Mother's Day marking this month, I wanted to share with you a few thoughts about bridging your two worlds; work and home. 
     Whether you are a parent, planning to be a parent or passing it all together, the work/life struggle is real for women and men alike. 
     In keeping with mother's day, the article is written with moms in mind, but have no fear men and non-mom women, the idea of borrowing concepts from home and applying them to work still applies to you. 
      I believe you can blend and borrow from each parts of your life for a customized, unified whole! 
 
Enjoy,
 
Laura
 
ps.  Read my first chapter of my book free:
 
Can Motherhood Prepare you for the Boardroom?

Yes, your lessons from home applied to work can generate results!

    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.
     In 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 years. The you-want-a-home-life-but-you-can't-have-it-without-the-expense-of- dropping-out-of-your-career fears that can grip many women at the start of their careers.
      This 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 work!

      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 "balance."

I think this is the wrong mindset.
 

     I 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 a mom.  The lines become less blurred and your skills and talents are more easily accessed and transferred from one to the other. 

      When you 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.

     My 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!

     So 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:

1.      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. 

2.      Forget the 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 it.

3.     Lead 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.

4.     Remember that all people want to be loved and accepted; just like kids   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.

5.      Commit to where and what you are doing   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 roles.  Don't waste energy wishing you were somewhere else, this just makes you ineffective on both fronts. 

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

     
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     Laura Lopez speaks to companies and business associations about Leadership and Branding.  Go to http://www.Laura-Lopez.com for more information on how to bring Laura in to speak at your next meeting or conference.

 
 
 
All the best,
 
Laura Lopez
 
Laura Lopez & Company
www.Laura-Lopez.com
(713) 864-4633
toll free outside of Texas 1-800-861-4633