Fiona was a hard charger; you’d always find her at her office before sunrise and leaving long after sunset. Fiona was celebrated in business journals and touted as a paragon of success. But as the months turned to years, something changed.
One evening, after yet another 14-hour day, Fiona found herself alone in her vast penthouse apartment, staring out of the window at the twinkling city lights. In the quiet of the night, she began to reflect. Yes, her professional pillar was as strong as an oak, but what about the others?
Amid the daily grind, she had unknowingly neglected several of life’s vital pillars. Her health was deteriorating, her close relationships felt more like acquaintances, and the joy she once felt from her community engagements had faded.
This revelation was a wake-up call for Fiona. It brought her to seek guidance, which is where our tale truly begins.
Over the years, I’ve encountered many ‘Fionas’. They inspired me to learn more about how to live life with the highs of ambition and the deep meaning from a life well lived. They are also the reason I became certified as a High Flow Coach with The Flow Research Collective. Working with highly successful, driven, and ambitious professionals and observing while most of them were reaching the point of realisation that there’s more to life than one’s profession, fuelled me with a deep curiosity to discover if this was indeed possible. Because let’s be honest, it’s not exactly easy to find evidence, right?
Well, it turns out, it is possible, though I’m not going to pretend this is an easy fix, old habits die hard, after all. But if you’re up for some exploration, then join me in taking a new look at how you live your life, and we’ll start what I’m calling Life Pillars. Balancing life’s pillars isn’t just good advice; it’s vital for sustained leadership success. Let’s begin by looking at Fiona’s journey. Her life pillars told an uncomfortable story of neglect and disappointment.
Fiona’s constant work left her with little time for physical activity, adequate sleep, or proper nutrition. Without a solid foundation of health, how can one expect to lead efficiently?
Being in tune with one’s emotions allows leaders to connect genuinely with their teams. Fiona realised she had been operating in a constant state of stress and fatigue, affecting her decision-making and interpersonal relationships.
What’s success if you have no one to share it with? Fiona’s long hours meant missed family dinners, forgotten friends’ birthdays, and neglected relationships.
Despite her professional advancements, Fiona felt a void in her personal development. The books she once loved were gathering dust, and the hobbies she once enjoyed were now distant memories.
Fiona once volunteered at a local shelter and found joy in giving back. But as her work consumed her, these engagements took a back seat, creating a disconnect from her community and purpose.
Recognising these neglected pillars, Fiona embarked on a journey of rebalancing. She began by scheduling regular health check-ups and setting aside time for physical activity. Emotional wellness sessions and reconnecting with loved ones became a priority. Personal growth was pursued with the same fervour she reserved for business goals, and she re-engaged with her community, finding purpose beyond the boardroom.
Within months, Fiona felt a transformation. Not only was she happier and more fulfilled, but her leadership style evolved. Her team noticed her renewed energy, her genuine connections, and most importantly, her holistic approach to life and work.
So, what’s the message here?
Success isn’t just about hitting business milestones or accumulating accolades. It’s about nurturing and balancing all of life’s pillars. It’s about understanding that neglecting one can have a domino effect on the others. True leadership success is holistic.
If you’re a leader, or aspire to be one, take a moment to reflect, as Fiona did. Are all your life’s pillars being tended to? If not, perhaps it’s time to rebalance. Because at the end of the day, a balanced life isn’t just beneficial for you; it’s crucial for those you lead.