I spoke about my book, Total Leadership, a couple of days ago at Silberline, a global supplier of effect pigments located near Allentown, PA. The top team, about forty in all, was present for a brief workshop on the main ideas and tools.
In our session I had participants do a simple exercise from the book. Find the exercise, along with video and other cool stuff, here. First, to signify the relative importance of each domain of your life—work, home, community, and self (mind, body, and spirit)—you assign a value from 0 to 100 to each domain such that the total of all four is 100. If work is everything to you, then work would get 100 points and the rest would each get 0. If all four domains are of equal importance to you, then each would get 25 points. Second, to show how you allocate your attention in a typical week, you assign points to each domain to indicate where you devote your time and attention. Third, you rate each domain according to how satisfied you are, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1=horrible, 10=ecstatic). Finally, you rate how you’re performing, according to the standards of the people in that domain, on a scale of 1 to 10 (1=horrible, 10=perfect).
I’ll write more about this exercise in future posts. For now, I’ll just point to one of the insights that arose in our discussion at Silberline.
Perhaps most crucial, the COO realized that how he performs at work really does have substantial spillover effects on the other parts of his life, and vice versa. This was a new and important insight for him, he said. Prior to doing this exercise, and talking about it with a few colleagues in the room, he had always thought about the different parts of his life as separate and distinct. Just this quick look helped him to see that how he performs as an executive affects, and is affected by, how we “performs” as a father, friend, and citizen.
The CTO, the person who had initially invited me to speak after reading my HBR article, spoke about how he came to see, for the first time, how his role in the company has a positive impact on his community and on society in general. Previously, when he thought about his community, he thought in a more narrow sense about how he helps out a bit at his local high school, the one his children attend. But, looking at the bigger picture of the different parts of his life and how they interact, he saw that through his role as a senior executive, he was having a positive impact not only in the place he lives, by helping to create employment opportunities , but also in the other places around the world where his companies does business. And, he realized, his influence on society is not just about job creation but also about the values this company represents and how those values spread from the business organization into the local community.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on how you see your work affecting your community and society.