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Leadership: Are Normal Work Hours Possible in a Global Organization?

As organizations grow and become global, therefore multiple time zones, are what one might consider normal working hours not to mention work-life balance possible? I won’t for a second begin to define what work-life balance is, as it all depends on individuals, their personalities, and energy level, along with a multitude of other factors. But aside from work-life balance by any definition, are normal work hours even in the equation?

As organizations grow and become global, therefore multiple time zones, are what one might consider normal working hours not to mention work-life balance possible? I won’t for a second begin to define what work-life balance is, as it all depends on individuals, their personalities, and energy level, along with a multitude of other factors. But aside from work-life balance by any definition, are normal work hours even in the equation?

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If you have to be in conference calls with your other centers around the globe and they need financial numbers, stock market figures etc, which means the conversation has to be as late in the day as possible, is it possible to structure a work week so there is some balance in your life and you have time for a life?

Last week I wrote about perks of the workplace and pushed a few buttons along the way. Great! actually, because if you’re not paying attention, you’re not going to determine whether or not it’s what you want ultimately, especially before your personal life disappears into thin air. My work is all about awareness. Yours is making choices that suit your values and define and maintain your personal boundaries. It doesn’t matter if you’re the leader of the organization or the lowest person on the totem pole. You all have choices to make with regards to what’s acceptable to you. So to take this one step further, there are other kinds of perks or enticements that have nothing whatsoever to do with the ‘extras’. They are harder to say no to because often people are enticed by who they’ll work with, from company to its leadership, and will sacrifice a great deal for the opportunity.

I’ve been there, done that, however eventually and thankfully because of my training, I was able to say no to some of the most glamorous, enticing opportunities possible within my profession. I asked myself, “What would I have to give up to have this?” The cost was way too high.

There are other intangible enticements. I’d love to hear you input and perspectives as to what you think some of them may be. For example, what if you always wanted to work for one of the most visible, powerful firms in the world, knew you had to start in the lower ranks and pay your dues, and work night and day to grow within the organization? Is it to have a great life or impressive lifestyle? What will you give up to get what exactly, because in the realm of life, if you give up life, what are you left with when all is said and done?

Having fun and being pumped with your job is probably the biggest enticement of all. If you are having that much fun it can become addictive.

So I leave you with the question “What would your life look like if…?”and finish that sentence. Whatever it is that finishes that statement, eg. “I was working with….” or “I was working at….” and look at the answer you come up with. Then ask yourself, is it or was it worth it? The answer will be staring you in the face. Will you pay attention to what it tells you?

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Donna Karlin • Executive and Political Shadow Coach™ • Ottawa, Canada • •www.abetterperspective.com

About the author

Donna Karlin CEC, Diplomate IABMCP and founder and principal of A Better Perspective® & The School of Shadow Coaching, has pioneered the specialized practice of Shadow Coaching® with global political, government, business and senior organizational leaders in the public and private sectors. Donna capitalizes on almost 30 years of experience in coaching, consulting and training to help clients and their organizations evolve into their level of excellence.

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