CEO of Self: Mastering the Art of Bridging Leadership from Work to HomeOct 31, 2023
“I feel so confident in the workplace and things seem to fall apart at home”
I’ve heard this from so many people in leadership positions.
Being the “CEO of Self” is a transformative journey of aligning your professional leadership prowess with personal life mastery. Bringing indispensable leadership principles into our personal domains can lead to a harmonious and fulfilling life.
“To handle yourself, use your head; to handle others, use your heart." - Eleanor Roosevelt
Let’s go through the 3 key skills to make leadership at home just as effective as what you are bringing to work.
- Crafting Your Vision - Vision is the beacon that guides CEOs to lead their companies to new heights. It’s equally pivotal to have such visionary clarity in our personal lives.
"The empires of the future are the empires of the mind." - Winston Churchill
Back in 2005 I had a vision for my new business… that it integrated with my personal life. I was a single mom and I wanted to be able to walk my daughter to school and have my business within a short drive of my home. I didn’t have other family members to help and I knew my daughter would be with me at my business every other day.
I visualized further… how could I keep an eye on my daughter, work in my business and keep a great quality of life for both of us?
She was only 5 years old and I knew I would be working early mornings and a few evenings. As my 6000 square foot Olympic training facility was being developed I made a final change.
I added a window from my office into the training room. I already had made a good sized office so she could be comfortable there with me but I figured that another small tweak would make it even better. Then she could see me without being with me.
None of this existed in real life- only in my mind. Yet, I made it all a reality because I visualized it first. I bought a house that was a 15 min walk from her school. I found a business space within 10 minutes from our home and I created a work space that allowed me to feel great about her being with me at work.
All of this aligned with my values at the time... high performance growth and my family’s quality of life.Actionable Tips: Reflect on and define your core values and life vision. What are your values? What are the current standards for your home life? What is the vision of your future home life?
- Leading with Love - Leading with love, empathy, and respect is about creating enriching relationships and a nurturing environment both at work and home.
“The greatest leader is not necessarily the one who does the greatest things. He is the one that gets the people to do the greatest things." - Ronald Reagan
I had it "dialed in" while running my business but some twists and turns happened when I married my husband who had 3 children. I became a wife, stepmom and mom to a new baby while running my business. It felt like a tornado! I moved my business to another city where I had no friends or contacts and had 5 kids and a new business.
“Overwhelmed” was an understatement!
The main thing that kept me going was the love of my family. I was truly torn between my business and my family yet I knew that both of them needed me.
My blended family taught me that I couldn’t just create everything I wanted. There were so many things out of my control. I learned to listen and adapt. Find what was working and compromise. I learned to lead with love instead of just action.
Actionable Tips: Practice active listening and empathetic communication. Nurture and value each relationship. When all else fails listen to your heart not your head.
- Embracing Resilience - Resilience enables us to overcome challenges, adapt to change, and continuously learn and grow.
"It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up." - Vince Lombardi
I didn’t know how hard business and having a blended family would be. I had no idea that the demands of a busy family life and business combined would test me in ways I could never have predicted. Yet, that is exactly what gave me more growth and strength.
The business almost failed and our team saved it.
My marriage almost failed and we repaired it.
The point of “almost failed” felt awful, terrifying and uncertain. That is exactly what cultivated the resilience and growth that I have now. We persevered and came through the other side as better people.
I became a leader at home that I didn’t know existed. Someone who forgives, is compassionate and goes the extra mile. I didn’t have those role models growing up. Seeing the struggle as an opportunity to grow is NOT the first impulse.
However, it is what I was eventually able to get to and it has created the resilience that has served me so well in my business and at home.
Actionable Tips: View every challenge as a learning opportunity. Develop a growth mindset, embracing change and continuous learning. What is great about the struggle you are currently facing?
Conclusion: "Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." - Peter Drucker
My older kids are in their 20’s and my youngest in middle school. My business has evolved. The things that I felt were important in my business have changed based on my growth and the changing trends and economy. Yet my values with my family only deepened.
I truly believe that our greatest growth in leadership comes from how we handle the areas of our lives that move us the most.
For most of the people I know it’s our loved ones that move us the most.
Learning to lead ourselves personally and in our families is truly the best training ground for being an example of strong leadership in our professional lives.
We’d love to hear from you! Share your experiences and insights on being the CEO of your own life.
Statistics and Resources:
- A survey from Harvard Business Review reveals that the average age of a first-time CEO is around 47.
-Women represent only 6.3% of CEOs at S&P 500 companies.
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