Professional obligations and family commitments can be at odds — particularly for those who hold leadership positions or possess jobs with long hours. And many people learn that the hard way.
“At one point, I became quite one-dimensional. It was all work and I had little time for family or other activities,” says Charles D. Morgan, CEO of PrivacyStar, who served as CEO of Acxiom Corporation from 1972 to 2008, overseeing the pioneering database marketing services and technology provider’s growth from 25 employees to 7,000.
Morgan, a serial entrepreneur, reveals his work-life balance struggles in his new memoir, “Matters of Life and Data: The Remarkable Journey of a Big Data Visionary Whose Work Impacted Millions (Including You).”
While working at his first job at IBM as a systems engineer, Morgan was called back just a few days into his honeymoon due to an urgent office matter, marking the beginning of an all-consuming career. Despite ups and downs in both the professional and personal arenas, he eventually hammered out a successful career and a peaceful family life. Morgan is now sharing some insights into the eternal challenge of striking the balance between competing interests.
• While you may feel compelled to be involved in every aspect of the business, delegating tasks to the people who can do a better job than you can will benefit both you and the company. So know your strengths and weaknesses for better time management.
• Find systems that simplify operations and make things happen faster, even if it means rocking the boat. For example, when titles were eliminated at Acxiom, the cultural shift didn’t make everyone happy, but in the end, the company became more efficient and flexible, giving everyone more time at the end of the day.
• No matter what you are wrestling with at work, be available for your children during the day. Make sure your kids know that they are important to you. Attend their recitals and ball games and find hobbies that you can share with them. Be reachable as much as possible.
More information about the book can be found at www.mattersoflifeanddata.com.
For those struggling with the work-life balance, take time to think about how you can streamline your work to make more time for family.