Every once in a while, you come across an article that truly resonates. Each phrase and sentence expresses something you have felt or knew but could not put into your own words. You may read it and think, “but this is so obvious”, or realize that though you knew what it says, you were not living it, perhaps not now.
This morning, searching for inspiration, I came across a blog from the Harvard Business Review, written by Neal J. Roese. The article was listed under the Work Life Balance topic. I generally scoff at the idea of Work Life Balance, since it seems like such an elusive ideal. What is Work Life Balance? It is different for each of us. Unlike the situation in chemistry where balance is generally between two forms of a molecule, in life, balance involves multiple demands. In my view, balance is about energy and priorities. It is about where one’s energy comes from and deciding where to use it.
Roese writes about friendship and how we may not be aware of the value of friendship in our lives and, importantly, in our careers. I am personally aware of how important the friendship of a few extraordinary women has been to my life and how those connections also helped spark my career. We met as part of an experiment in women’s development at a company, and through challenges, successes and crises, both personal and professional, grew closer over time.
My “posse” has been together for more than twenty years now, even though geography separates most of us. We come together for celebrations, of our families, ourselves, as well as to mark sad occasions. These friendships have nurtured me and given me support when I did not even think I needed it.
A few years back, I told the story of this group of friends at the initiation of a program run by the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association that I still have the privilege of co-leading, the Circle of Advisors. The circle I joined that day still meets today and has been a source of advice, support and gentle challenge to each of the members.
If you are interested in joining the HBA Circle of Advisors, the registration deadline is August 11. If you would like to explore this as an idea and are not part of the healthcare business, please contact me.
Photo: With my first best friend, Silvia Madrazo, after more than 30 years and thousands of miles