I was finally on the plane, all settled in next to my husband; on my way to visit my family in Turkey! I love planes, especially the twelve-hour long flights. Absolute bliss where no one can get a hold of you! No phones, no internet unless you choose to buy those services on the plane, which I choose not to. I was finally relaxed but exhausted at the same time.
About two hours into our long flight, my husband looked at me and asked “is this how our lives going to be from here on out?” I was at a loss! I didn’t’ have a clue what he was talking about. He went on to tell me that he has been watching me work 12 hour days, 6 days a week, and work at home on most Sundays; and never really available for anything else. He reminded me that we haven’t done any of the things we used to do as a couple; symphony concerts, movies, short weekend trips had been put on the shelf since I took over my leadership position with the nonprofit I was working for … even cooking a meal together at home had become a chore. He reemphasized his support of and commitment to my success; and but he said he didn’t want us to lose each other along the way.
Wow… talk about finally waking up to see what my life had become. He was right. I had been working 12 hour days, 6 days a week for almost two years while putting everything else on the back burner, including my personal life and my husband.
The irony is my husband is a very hard working executive himself, but he has better work and life balance than I did. He had been by my side, supporting me, or waiting on the sidelines for me to make time for him for the last two years. I wondered if I would have been as patient, loving and supportive as he has been of me, if the roles were reversed.
That trip was literally life-changing. Not only did it provid me much needed rest, but also a new perspective of what I was giving up just to ensure success at work. I made major changes when I returned home. More on this later, but I want to hear from you now.
What about you? What are you giving up to ensure success at work as a woman leader?