A Balanced Life: Essential for Long-term CEO Success
For instance, the recent “sexting” scandal that terminated the once highly successful career of New York politician Anthony Weiner is a good example of a life out of balance. At the same time, when an executive such as Mr. Weiner falters, people have a hard time understanding what went wrong because their character traits and personal motivators are not always visible.
When I speak about a life out of balance, I am suggesting that executives who eventually fail typically have focused all of their motivational drive on the wrong things. While there are many elements of career and life imbalance, the most frequent trait is to be motivated only by achieving higher and higher levels of power and authority for its own sake. These individuals also have an exaggerated sense of personal significance and find great pleasure in buying and showcasing the many vehicles and other toys that publicly demonstrate their prosperity. Finally, the focus on self-aggrandizement rather than the mission and vision of their employer will cause the downfall.
At the same time, if you look carefully at these individuals, you will find that many are emotionally barren, sad and depressed and need to use all of their efforts to put on a good face. Behind the scenes and in private, they struggle to recuperate from one if not more broken relationships. They feel isolated and lonely and frequently suffer the consequences of their greed.
Unfortunately, these individuals have been so driven by the artificial signifiers of success that they have neglected all of the other elements that make a truly successful person. They have neglected their spouse and children, their fitness, and their friendships. They have selfishly and singularly focused only on their own career and have never taken time for personal reflection with respect to their personal mission or vision of life.
And so, it seems strange and shocking when we encounter an individual whose success bubble suddenly collapses to the shock of all around them. Yet, if we were truthful, their life has been out of balance for so long that a tragic fall from their high perch was inevitable.
The challenge for a recruiter is to identify the characteristics of a candidate’s life balance and to determine whether these challenges will impact success in the potential new job. This requires that we go far beyond simply examining an individual’s technical skills and emotional quotient, making sure to also examine personal characteristics.
This type of examination is often undertaken through an online tool that assesses an individual’s personal attitude toward life and their tendency to take personal responsibility. We examine the level of personal self-confidence and self-esteem, how the candidate handles adversity and whether or not their level of self discipline meets the requirements of the job.
Our assessment also examines a candidate’s personal values, beliefs and code of ethics and determines how these elements impact their daily life and professional career. We are also able to determine their level of personal self awareness; in other words, does the candidate ever take time to reflect on their life, evaluate their growth and made mid-career corrections.
The most successful candidates for such senior roles as CEO require balanced attention to all aspects of life. These individuals build in special and ongoing attention to family, fitness, friends, finances, fun and their inner faith. They know themselves well and continually review and develop their personal mission and vision for how they want to contribute to their career, their family and to their employer and community. Successful individuals know they cannot focus solely on power, prestige, privilege, prosperity or pleasure.
About the author
Paul Croteau is Managing Partner of Legacy Bowes Group, Manitoba’s leading Talent Management Solution. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org://www.paulcroteau.com
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