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Life in Balance Leadership? CEO Sets Example So Listen up!

If you read this, you might want to send your CV to Mike Torto at rPath.

If you read this, you might want to send your CV to Mike Torto at rPath.

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Mike Torto has been CEO of rPath, a start up enterprise software company since May 2009. He loves his life and is conscious of the life/work balance he has created for himself.

Mike commutes from Boston, Mass to Raleigh, North Carolina where he works! When I read those words in a recent article, my first thought was “What?!! With so many people trying to reduce travel to improve balance in their lives, how is this guy claiming to have a great life balance and enjoy quality time with himself.”

I knew I had to call him to get the story of how he commutes from state to state, enjoys time with his three daughters, speaks at universities and run a start-up technology company.

Having spoken to over a hundred senior leaders about how they manage their lives and business, I’ve found that the ability to manage time and technology is one of the keys of healthy leadership. However like many other people in his position his life was not always in order and he had to learn the hard way. Mike went through a time feeling stressed out and overwhelmed, not spending enough time with people he loved, or pursuing his own interests. “I was gone for weeks at a time. My re-entry was always horrible for everyone.”

Torto said he made a conscious decision to change his life and take control of his happiness and time and be more present for his family.

“It’s easier now. I love my work and my life.

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Work and pleasurable things are not separate because I love what I do.

I take the time to stop for an hour or two and think about work when I want and I know what matters to me. I also know that what works for me may not work for other people.”

“I’ve also found that many of the things I thought were important aren’t and I could eliminate them and use my time more efficiently.”

He’s happy to be at rPath where the culture already encouraged life/work balance and where his personal values are in alignment with the organization.

As CEO he continues to create a culture where his employees love to work and feel in control of their own lives. “I’m not concerned with how many hours a person works. I’m more concerned with results and performance. We all work hard and put in a lot of hours, but I don’t care if people take needed time to just think, or attend a family event, or cut out early to coach their child’s soccer team.”

Torto added, “it took me awhile to get to that point. I had to get more secure in myself not to feel guilty. I grew up with “boomer ” values with a strong work ethic but I found that I could still be productive if I took time out.”

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He uses technology to sift through everything that needs his attention, and let go of the idea that he could get more done by multi-tasking.
“With cell phones I spend less time worrying about my kids because I can always call them.”

He also shares his Facebook page. “I never thought I would share Facebook with my employees but gives us all a sense of commonality and inclusion which makes people feel more motivated to work together.”

Mike is obviously a strategic user of technology not one of those people who sits down at the computer for five minutes to check email and is still sitting there five hours later researching archeology in Nepal

Mike belongs to a CEO Group, where they share best practices and learn from each other.. ” As we grow I want to maintain our culture of inclusion where employees have a sense of ownership and look forward to coming to work.

His energy was so contagious, that when our conversation ended, I reviewed my to do list, and eliminated half of the items., and took my son out to lunch.

Simma Lieberman is the author of Putting Diversity to Work and a member of The Million Dollar Consultant® Hall of Fame. Simma Lieberman Associates works to create workplace cultures where people love to do their best work and customers love to do business. Read the Inclusionist blog. Follow her on twitter: @theinclusionist. Subscribe to her newsletter.