Looking at Work-Life from a Results-Based Perspective

“I would love to offer more flexibility, but I need people onsite to get work done.”

This is one of the most common statements I hear when managers attend one of my workplace flexibility seminars. For me, it can present a sticky situation since every work environment is different. While I don’t know your institution’s “face-time quotient” to ensure objectives are being met, I can ask one very simple question that can help move the work-life conversation along:  what are your deliverables? To rephrase: what are the key results you expect from your employee(s)?

If we know the results that are expected, then we can properly analyze if flex or alternative arrangements are appropriate for a position. Herein lies the problem – both managers and employees don’t always know what the deliverables are, therefore, when a work-life conversation comes up, it becomes difficult to make a strong case for or against flexibility and even more difficult to create a work plan that seems to be win-win.

Continue reading “Looking at Work-Life from a Results-Based Perspective”

I Quit My Job Because My Company Didn’t Offer Zumba

I marched into my boss’s office poised, calm, and dedicated to my decision.  I couldn’t take it any longer.   It’s 2018 and I was in a work environment that was barbaric and absolutely opposite of everything I knew work-life balance was about.   It didn’t take me long to blurt out “I quit!”   My boss replied with the typical: “why?”

Continue reading “I Quit My Job Because My Company Didn’t Offer Zumba”

Walking My Talk! How Fatherhood Impacted My Own Work-Life Journey

It is 4:15 a.m.   I have just spent ten minutes haggling with a taxi cab company over how they forgot to pick me up to go to the airport.  It has been sorted out and I should still get there in plenty of time.  I crack open the door to my son Alessio’s nursery to catch a glimpse of him.  Somehow, through the darkness and the silhouette of stuffed monkey’s  and bears, I see his little head through the slats on the crib.  This will be my last glimpse of him before spending 4 days away at a seminar in Las Vegas. 

I pull myself away then check my email on my tablet to make sure I have all my bases covered at work.  I will have lots of things waiting for me when I return from the seminar: organizing a leadership conference, writing more of my dissertation, working on an article for a magazine, and conducting a 90 minute public speaking seminar just days after I return.

 My plate is definitely full.  

The cab pulls into the driveway.  I carry my own bags into the cab.  The cabby tells me it is his first night on the job and that he has never been to the airport before. 

I sigh deeply.  This is my life. Continue reading “Walking My Talk! How Fatherhood Impacted My Own Work-Life Journey”

WHAT MANAGERS, SPORKS, AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE HAVE IN COMMON (Part 1)

s a child of the 80s one of the commercials I remember most are for Campbell’s Chunky Soup.   The commercials were centered around a heated debate over whether Chunky Soup should be eaten with a fork (because it is so meaty you see) or a spoon (because that is what soup is meant to be eaten with).  My favorite of the ads featured WWE Superstars because as a child I was a WWF fanatic.   You can view that commercial here:
As much as I loved the commercials I never could decide until one day I saw a utensil that was both fork and spoon.  Enter: The Spork.    To me the Spork is the ultimate symbol of efficiency and adaptability.   It can do the job of 2 utensils and takes up less space.  More advanced models even have a small serrated knife blade on the side which increases its efficiency by 33%
.
Managers have to be Sporks as they are called to do more with less and constantly seek out new ways of achieving results.  Spork management requires you to take two seemingly different things, find their commonality and blend them together.  A spoon is used to hold liquids, a fork to spear solids and yet they are both eating utensils so combining them makes sense.  A fork and chainsaw (Chork?  Fainsaw?) probably wouldn’t work as well.

Continue reading “WHAT MANAGERS, SPORKS, AND WORK-LIFE BALANCE HAVE IN COMMON (Part 1)”

3 STRATEGIES TO FIND A BETTER FIT BETWEEN YOURSELF AND YOUR JOB

*Originally published in NASPA New Professionals and Graduate Students Newsletter

Student affairs work is great. I have always found it interesting, challenging, and rewarding. There are a multitude of job types within our profession that require different skillsets and abilities. As diverse the working world of student affairs is, finding the right job for you can be difficult. A job may seem fantastic on paper but once we start doing it….well we may quickly regret our choice. Conversely, we may agree to a job or project that we think is not ideal and discover that we love it. Six years ago, I would have never considered working with graduate students and yet I now find myself enjoying everything working with that population brings. Moreover, I also enjoy the culture of working in a graduate school and have found it is largely a better fit as it relates to both my professional and work-life needs. I was fortunate to find my optimal fit. To help you find optimal fit on your professional journey, here are three types of fit you need to consider during your career. These fits can help you in your current roles as much as it can during a job search. Continue reading “3 STRATEGIES TO FIND A BETTER FIT BETWEEN YOURSELF AND YOUR JOB”

FLAG ON THE PLAY! 4 QUICK TIPS TO ESTABLISHING WORK-LIFE BOUNDARIES

Have you ever felt like your professional and personal life overlapped in a way that bothered you?  Do your job duties interfere with your ability to have a balanced life (however you define it)? Almost all of us know how we want work and life to interact, but creating the ideal blend in reality can be difficult and frustration.  To aid you in this process, here are four quick tips to help you better define your work-life boundaries.

Continue reading “FLAG ON THE PLAY! 4 QUICK TIPS TO ESTABLISHING WORK-LIFE BOUNDARIES”

It’s Time to Declare YOUR Work-Life Independence

As someone with ties to both Canada and the United States the July 1st – July 4th date range which marks the independence of both North American nations is an awesome time for me. Awesome because I have double the reason to celebrate: double the treats, double the barbecues (I always do something for Canada day on July 1st, even if I am alone), and of course the fireworks….which can be endless thanks to Facebook live.

Although we celebrate the independence of our respective nations, I started to think: at what point will you declare your work-life independence?

Continue reading “It’s Time to Declare YOUR Work-Life Independence”

3 Simple Work-Life Lessons I Was Reminded of While on Vacation

My family and I just finished a lovely vacation in Traverse City, Michigan. It was a much needed break from the grind and for us marked a commitment to taking more vacation/family time. Over the course of our vacation, I was reminded of 3 work-life lessons that are an essential practice if we want to avoid burnout and enhance our overall life-satisfaction. They are:

1) It’s ok to put work away. For the better part of a week I turned everything off and focused on the family. I had intended to finish writing my first book The Two Year Old’s Guide to Work-Life Balance” but quickly opted to just enjoy the moments with the family, Continue reading “3 Simple Work-Life Lessons I Was Reminded of While on Vacation”

4 LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM HASAN MINHAJ’S “HOMECOMING KING”

The other night I sat down and watched Hasan Minhaj’s stand-up special Homecomingon Netflix.  The special had come highly recommended from my colleagues and I was definitely in the mood for a laugh that day. What I ended up watching was as much as a lesson in leadership as it was a comedy routine.

After reflecting, here are 4 Leadership lessons I learned by watching Hasan Minhaj.

1)    Storytelling has power. Hasan’s entire act took us on a journey of identity,

Continue reading “4 LEADERSHIP LESSONS FROM HASAN MINHAJ’S “HOMECOMING KING””

Leading in 3-D: Looking at 3 Levels of Delegation

Assigning tasks can be one of the more difficult issues leaders face.  The choices you make as a leader will determine the quality of the task’s outcome and will have an impact on the amount of stress (positive and negative) an employee/teammate faces. When it comes to the issue of task assignment I want us to think about it in terms of the 3D hierarchy. At some point we utilize all 3 of these D’s. That being said, the D’s are not equal. As we go up the pyramid we become more focused and thoughtful in our task assignments which in turns lead to better results.

Dump: This is the least desirable and least effective of task assignment strategies. Dumping duties on people requires little to no thought. Dumping asks the

Continue reading “Leading in 3-D: Looking at 3 Levels of Delegation”