"It's just business, nothing personal." That is one of the worst quotes I've heard.
It is a basic excuse that says I took this action or didn't take this action because there is no personal relationship between us. No matter if we are making decisions for a Fortune 500 company or our families, each one of those involves relationships with people that make it personal.
Therefore, we should consider both in decision making. We should marry work and family to set and achieve goals. Zig Ziglar calls it "home field advantage." The best way to achieve that home field advantage is not separating the two, but bringing them together.
Here are three ways to accomplish that:
Some of us have a work voice and home voice. We also have a home demeanor and a work demeanor. The way you handle yourself in front of your boss should be consistent with the way you handle yourself while with co-workers and peers—as well as how you handle yourself while with your wife and kids.
If you don't go off the handle at work when someone does something wrong, then don't do that at home. If you go the extra mile and do things that someone else was supposed to do, do the same at work. Every relationship, at work or at home, is personal because it involves people. You should treat them as such no matter where you are.
Consider the Impact
What will happen if you take on this new project or accept this new role which requires more travel? What happens if you take a few minutes extra in the morning with your kids and you arrive just in time or a few minutes late to work? What happens when you don't follow your budget and now you need to request overtime?
What we do at home impacts work. What we do at work impacts home. You need to plan for both. Many men plan for their work, career, and maybe financial goals. But that is not complete without including family goals. If your goal is to travel "x" times this year, will that require extra work hours, a promotion, or a side business? When setting goals, make sure to set personal, career and family goals.
Be and Give Your Very Best
Have you ever worked with someone who was having relationship problems at home? Have you experienced a time in your marriage when work has been stressful for your wife? Those challenges bleed to other areas. But when things are going well with both, they feed off each other, and it's a wonderful thing. Be sure you are 100 percent in while at home, and 100 percent in while at work, but make sure your boss and family know and respect your other role. Introduce both worlds.
Sometimes our kids, maybe even our wives, don't really know what we do or what it takes. Invite them into that world and introduce the people who exist in that world with you. Talk about the work you do or how your work/company serves others. Talk about what you like as well as what is challenging for you.
Do the same for those you work with. Let them know you have a wife and kids, and share about them as appropriate. Put pictures on your desk. Talk about what you did with your wife and kids recently. Bring your family to family-friendly work events.
Work is not just business; it's personal. Home life is not just personal; it involves your work. Marry them in order to get the most out of both and use these three things to help you.
Jackie Bledsoe is an author, blogger and speaker, but first and foremost a husband and father of three, who helps men better lead and love the ones who matter most.
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