The Power of the Personal

Message to organizations: People with rich personal lives are more productive and satisfied with their work than those on a fast track to burnout.

Seems there are lessons to be learned from the world outside one's career path--such as trust and cooperation--that carry over into work life. More important, a rich personal life tends to be an indicator of an underlying approach to oneself and the world--an attunement to the unique visions, values, and gifts of one's true self rather than an externally derived ideal image of the kind of person one should be.

"There are more sources of self-esteem and fulfillment open to managers who lead a well-rounded lifestyle," claims Joan Kofodimos, author of Balancing Act--How Managers Can Integrate Successful Careers and Fulfilling Personal Lives (Jossey Bass, 1993). This helps them be more resilient when encountering setbacks at work.

"In addition, a person who is attuned to his or her deepest personal aspirations, values, and purpose is more likely to make choices that fit those aspirations rather than those that satisfy external pressures. And he or she is likely to have a broader repertoire of leadership behaviors which are in short supply in today's organizations--such as concern with coworkers' needs, a desire to collaborate, and the ability to relinquish control.

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"They will also be less concerned with creating perceptions of effective performance and more concerned with operating with integrity."

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