As I mentioned before, when I started going through the top 5 questions that I hear from government supervisors, I realized that the article was getting rather long. As promised, here are the remaining questions…plus one bonus question that is often in the back of supervisors’ minds and never spoken. If you missed the first three questions, you can find them here.
Question 4: As a supervisor, how do I maintain work/life balance?
I’m sorry to tell you there is no such thing as work/life balance. Your work is part of your life and your life is part of your work. You cannot cut yourself in two parts and leave one part in the office and one at home. When you try to do that, one part of you will eventually begin to die. When you wake up in the morning and are not excited about what you get to do that day, you do a disservice not only to yourself but also to the world because it means that you are not offering your best gifts. You are not using the sum total of your talents, skills, abilities, experiences, desires and quirks in a way that creates the impact you are uniquely suited to make. As we discussed in question 2, we can’t get those gifts from anyone else. They are yours and yours alone. And the way you know you are truly giving your best gifts is because YOU LOVE IT!! You don’t slog yourself through it out of some misplaced definition of “Duty.” You LOVE it! It makes your heart sing!
Question 5: How do I know what I am supposed to do? How do I know I’m making the right decision?
In the words of Janet Bray Attwood, one of my early mentors, “whenever you are faced with a choice, decision, or an opportunity, always choose in favor of those things that mean the most to you.” Those things that matter most are the clues that lead you to your greatest gifts and talents. In the bureaucracy that is government service, it can be easy to lose touch with those things that truly matter TO YOU. This is where your Internal Guidance System comes in. Each of us has one and it will tell you whether you are, in fact, choosing in favor of those things. Whenever you feel things we label as anger, frustration, confusion or physical pain, your Internal Guidance System is telling you something. Listen to it. As you become more skilled at using your internal guidance system, you will begin to recognize areas where you are not in alignment and make adjustments.(Note: Even someone with experience using the Internal Guidance System gets challenged sometimes. Have a look at this article to see my own recent struggle with it.)
The Unspoken Question: How do I know if I am the BBOOB?
If you are asking this question of yourself, you are taking the first step to make sure that you are not, in fact, the BBOOB (Body Badly Out Of Balance). The Conscious Leader recognizes the importance of maintaining balance in all aspects of life: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. She learns to recognize when she is becoming a SLOB (Slightly Off Balance) and takes steps early to avoid becoming a BBOOB. The Conscious Leader will do whatever it takes to restore the alignment.
To discover if you might be turning into a SLOB, or have already become a BBOOB, visit www.freegiftfrommartha.com and take the quiz. Regardless, you are certain to pick up a few easy tips to engineer your own version of Conscious Leadership.