As a leader, it’s essential to recognize that people don’t leave their work issues at home nor do they leave personal issues at work. Instead, they bring these two lives together in a way some might refer to as “integrated life strategy.” Employees can’t afford to be distracted by personal worries while on the job and employees need comfort of family and friends after a rough day at work. Without the ability to let both work and home life blossom, employees often feel unhappy and unproductive.
Gone are the days when people believed that work and life were two distinct identities. The truth is, they’ve become increasingly intertwined in this day and age. In fact, the most successful leaders understand that happy employees are more productive, so it’s important to create environments where workers can be their whole selves. Whether you think of it as “work-life integration” or “work-life balance,” it’s essential to create an ecosystem in which employees thrive both inside and outside of the workplace. This means allowing them to bring their home issues to work (and vice versa) while still getting the job done. It may seem like a difficult balance to strike, but with the right strategies, it’s certainly achievable. Investing in your employees’ well-being will pay dividends for years to come.
00:03:26 Goal setting, work-life balance debate discussed.
00:07:24 Get sharp axe like Looney Tunes split.
00:12:33 Deeply know people, build strong connections.
00:15:54 Listen, observe, and communicate with your team.
00:17:37 Address home life issues without disruption.
00:20:45 Subscribe to learn how to be a great leader.
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Scott McCarthy [00:00:00]:
It’s on Episode 245 of the Peak Performance Leadership Podcast. I’m back 2023, ready to rock it. And we’re gonna talk about the good old keep it at home issue. It’s all about work and life issues right now. Are you ready for this, folks? Alright, let’s do it. Welcome one, welcome all to the Peak Performance Leadership Podcast. A weekly podcast series dedicated to helping you hit peak performance across the three domains of leadership. Those being leading yourself, leading your team, and leading your organization.
Scott McCarthy [00:00:49]:
This podcast couples my 20 years of military experience as a Senior Canadian Army officer with world class guests to bring you the most complete podcast of leadership going. And for more, feel free to check out our firstname.lastname@example.org. And with that, let’s get to the show you. Hey. Hey. Yes. Welcome one, welcome all. It is your Chief Leadership Officer, Scott McCarthy.
Scott McCarthy [00:01:21]:
And Happy 2023, 1st show of the new year. And I’m happy to be back behind the mic. I did take a bit of a longer break than I want to expect it to was planning on. And I do appreciate the messages I received from quite a few of you actually saying, hey, Scott, all good. You haven’t released a podcast for a while. I’m like, you know what, just take it a break. I want to one, make sure I keep loving this as much as I do. So I don’t want to put onerous amount of pressure on me to make sure every single week I’m dropping you new content.
Scott McCarthy [00:02:11]:
During times like Christmas, for example, throughout the year, yes, for sure. But from time to time, you know what? I need a break. Why? Because this is a side hustle for me. I have a full time job, as you probably aware. And if you’re not aware, I work day in, day out as a Senior Canadian Army officer leading soldiers every day. So couple that with being a father of two very young boys and a husband, of course life is busy. And sometimes as much as this is a getaway for me and a relaxation, I need a break. So that’s what I took.
Scott McCarthy [00:02:49]:
So messages from John, Tricia, Susie, Jason, Brian and a whole whack more of you guys. Thank you so much. I appreciate the emails, I appreciate the direct messages checking in. Anyway, I’m here now. I was trying to figure out what to talk about in the first episode, 2023, and I was like, I want to do something good. I want to do something special to kick it off. I was thinking about what trends will we see in 2023? I’m like, yeah, that’d be a great episode. And I started doing some research on that.
Scott McCarthy [00:03:26]:
And then I was thinking, well, maybe we keep going along with the goal setting thing because I know it’s right around the corner and goals and New Year’s resolutions, stuff like this. I’m like, yeah, that’d be actually a pretty good so I kind of stopped at the whole trends and started thinking about that. But there was a topic that just kept coming up and I don’t know why, but for some reason, the topic of the whole work and life mix and what I mean by that is people bringing life issues, home issues to the workplace. And a lot of talk about that, a lot of chatter about that debate, people outright saying, leave your home life at home, don’t bring it to the workplace. And others saying, no, you have to. This is where it’s impossible, so on and so forth. So for once and for all. I know I’ve talked about this topic a number of times ingrained in other episodes, but I wanted to really tackle this topic, and I was like, you know what? I’ve heard of it too much in our free Facebook group, which is leadership skills for managers who want to be leaders, not bosses.
Scott McCarthy [00:04:51]:
Right? You can check that out, quick search or go to Lead, don’t bossgroup and that will take you to it. That’s a free Facebook group by the way, with Jeez, almost 10,000 different leaders in there now. Absolutely insane. Anyway, so that was coming up. We actually even had the conversation in our elite Mastermind community. And if you’re interested in that, the leader Growth Mastermind, where we actually get together weekly via Zoom and talk face to face about our leadership struggles. You can check that out at Leaddompossmastermind. So anyway, moral story was I just decided I need to tackle this topic because it’s important.
Scott McCarthy [00:05:40]:
So I’m getting a little spicy and I’m going to get a little probably fun here. Now no matter where you sit on this topic, I want you to kind of relax, close your eyes and envision this for a second if you think that life issues, home issues need to stay at home, work issues need to stay at work. So I want you to do, want you to get up and again you’re visualizing this, okay, you’re going to get up and you’re getting your vehicle. You’re going to go to your local hardware store up here in Know. Canadian Tire is the big one down in the States. You guys got Home Depot. I’m a personal fan of Lowe’s, whatever. Pick one.
Scott McCarthy [00:06:35]:
Local hardware store. Hey, maybe it’s John’s hardware amazing works. You walk in and the first person you see, first worker you’re going to see, you’re going to ask them where are the axes? You’re going to ask them because we’re leaders, we don’t like wasting time and we go to the professionals, the experts. Even if you’ve been in that hardware store hundred times, how many times have you actually gone and looked for an axe? This could be your first time. Maybe it’s not. Either way, John, who either works at the hardware store or owns the hardware store, knows exactly where their axes are. So John tells you to go in the back. Take a right, go in the back, right on the back wall there axes galore.
Scott McCarthy [00:07:24]:
So you’re going to go, you’re going to look at the axes and you’re going to like, okay. And you’re going to pick the nice, biggest axe you can see there. You’re going to pay and then you’re going to go to basically another place to get your axe sharpened and maybe the hardware store does it for you. Amazing. If not, find a place and you’re going to sharpen this thing and you’re going to have it sharpened so much. I’m talking looney Tune style, okay? So I’m a product of the was born in the, really grew up in the I’m thinking of Looney Tunes when you got the Wiley Coyote and Roadrunner. And Wiley gets out his axe and he’s sharpening on the old school sharpening stone, right? And he finally sharpens him, plucks a piece of hair out of off of him and he drops it on the axe and you see it splits there in half. That’s how sharp I want your axe to be.
Scott McCarthy [00:08:22]:
Now you’re going to go to your closest friend with your uber sharp axe and you’re going to say to your friend, chop me in half, please, because I need one half for me for home issues. I need the other half for work. Did you laugh? Did you kind of snort or chuckle or something? Or scoff maybe? Probably. It’s ludicrous, right? It’s absolutely ludicrous. Why you get cut in half? Your debt, let’s be honest, not to get morbid here, but that’s the moral story. We cannot cut ourselves in half is my point. It’s impossible for people to cut themselves in half. So when you say to someone, leave your works, your home life at home and your work life at work, it doesn’t work.
Scott McCarthy [00:09:26]:
Mind the pun now. Why? Because we’re human beings for God’s sakes. We have baggage, we have emotions, we have thoughts. Someone’s at work and they’re thinking about their sick kid who is up all night, throughout the night, hasn’t eaten a thing. God knows how much weight they’ve lost over the past couple of days. They’re going to be worried about their kid, the dying parent worried about the dying parent. Have a younger person who is working on their degree or something, doing schooling while they work for you. And they have a big exam coming up that potentially could be career implications.
Scott McCarthy [00:10:14]:
They’re going to be worried about the exam and the vice versa is equally true. You have a tough day at work, you go home, you’re still frustrated, you’re still annoyed. You’re thinking about that big presentation you have to give the next week, the big report that’s due in the big pitch that you need to go and do to the client tomorrow. You bring that stuff home as well. And for us, as leaders, it’s important for us to recognize that it’s impossible for people to, quote unquote, split themselves in half. So how do you work round it, right? Or even better yet, how do you harness it for good? I’ve argued a number of times on this show, and if you’re a long listener of the podcast, you’ll know this, that developing relationships with your team is what gets you through those crucially difficult times. This is how we build teams in the military. We don’t build them through just work, but rather we build them through knowing our people and knowing them beyond the workplace.
Scott McCarthy [00:11:45]:
You see, I know names like Andrew, Sophia, Zoe, Lucas, Emmy, Brad chloe. Right. These are names of spouses and children of my team members. So when a team member, just like this morning, messaged me saying, hey kids, been up sick all day. And I go, hey, you’re good, don’t worry about it. Work from home, do what you can do and we’ll talk about it later. That is a home issue that impacts the workplace. It’s impossible to not avoid it.
Scott McCarthy [00:12:33]:
Now, what I was getting at is that when you know your people deeply and there’s nothing more important to individuals than their family members and their family, right, when you know them deeply and you make that connection with them, they’re going to be more willing to go to bat for you when times get tough. It’s not the first time I’ve said this, right? It’s developing those relationships. So when they do come in with those home issues and you listen to them and someone’s having marriage troubles or someone’s children is sick, or someone’s parent is sick, or maybe someone’s having financial issues, you can talk to them like a human being, because that is exactly what they are. And so are you. It’s your job as a leader to not just think about them as the worker, but rather look at them as the human. This is how you develop those deep connections and relations with them. And once that occurs, let me tell you, your great resignation issues will definitely start going away. So how do you go about doing that? You can’t just walk up to people and go, hey, how’s the home life? So again, use my 30 minutes rule.
Scott McCarthy [00:14:02]:
1st 30 minutes of the day, every day, show up to work, drop your bag for me. It’s my backpack. I walk in, I drop my backpack, I have my cup of coffee, and my team generally kind of huddles around my office. Now, we’ve kind of gotten in this routine, but I grab my cup of coffee, I literally lean against my door frame and we just chat. Chat about the night before the game, what’s going on in lives, so on everything and anything not related to work. Does work stuff pop up? Of course. But I’m not driving it. Rather, I’m trying to know my people deeper on a more personal level.
Scott McCarthy [00:14:58]:
What are their interests? What are their pain points at home? What great things are upcoming, where might they be losing focus later. And there and then I can take this information and use it for how I lead them, how I task them, how I utilize their skills. I know someone has a wedding upcoming, and I need someone to go away for a trip. Well, maybe it’s not the best idea to try to get them to go on that trip, but rather prepare someone else to do that trip. Right? It’s all about knowing your team members on that deeper level. And like I’ve said, when it gets tough, they’ll follow you. Why? Because you show you care. Showing that you care as a leader is absolutely crucial.
Scott McCarthy [00:15:54]:
So take that 30 minutes of a day and use the rule of not talking about work and then listen to your team members. Take mental notes of them, what they’re saying, what their cues are, how their body language is. Maybe they won’t open up fully to you, but if you catch their body language, if you talk to them and you go, hey, how’s everything going? Yep, everything’s yep, life’s good, no issues at home. And you tell just by their body language something’s off, and you have a good rapport with a colleague of theirs, and you talk to them, know, private area, like, hey, I talked to Jim, and Jim says everything’s good but doesn’t look good. Like, he doesn’t look like himself. You tracking anything? And a colleague may be able to open up and say, you know what? Yeah, we are tracking something. Okay? And here’s the important thing. Many leaders this is a failure that many leaders would do in a situation.
Scott McCarthy [00:17:03]:
They take it personal. Take it personal that Jim didn’t open up to them. No, don’t take it personal. It’s okay. He doesn’t need to open up to you. But at least the colleague did. And now you’re aware of what’s going on, and now you can go ahead and adjust. So you’re probably thinking, well, what about the person who brings all the drama from home to the workplace? Oh, Shirley said this and they said that, and I broke up my girlfriend again, my boyfriend again, because he was doing that.
Scott McCarthy [00:17:37]:
And the other thing, blah, blah, blah. When it comes to the point where, yes, it is destructive, you do need to address it. However, what I would suggest to you is don’t address it to point of saying your home life issues are not welcome here, but rather state that, yes, your home life issues are welcome here, and we are here to support each other on more of a level. However, it cannot be disruptive to the rest of the team. So please, time and place to discuss these issues. If you need to get some advice or you’re looking for some input, yes, my door is here. Yes, you can talk to your colleagues. However, if it’s getting to the point where it’s destructive and disruptive, then you need to take it a notch down, okay? That’s the difference.
Scott McCarthy [00:18:40]:
You’re still enabling them, but you’re putting a boundary on it. And it’s not a hard, fast rule. You can only talk about your home life five minutes. Like, come on, that doesn’t work. You have to use your sense of judgment here. Okay? So enable but limit. All right, ladies and gentlemen, that is the topic for today, so keep that in mind. We’re one person.
Scott McCarthy [00:19:11]:
Things will plead from one side to the next. We will we will bring work home and home to work. It’s not a matter of if, but when. And the point of a story is, enable, don’t disrupt it. Actually get in front of it by simply taking your 1st 30 minutes of a day cup of coffee and having a conversation. That’s it for me. We’ll be back. We’ll be back.
Scott McCarthy [00:19:43]:
Ready to roll for 2023. And I can’t wait. So until next time, ladies and gentlemen, remember, as always, lead Don’t Boss. Take care now. And that’s a wrap for this episode, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for listening. Thank you for supporting the peak Performance Leadership podcast. But you know what you could do to truly support the podcast? And no, that’s not leaving a rating and review.
Scott McCarthy [00:20:09]:
It’s simply helping a friend. And that is helping a friend by sharing this episode with them. If you think this would resonate with them and help them elevate their performance level, whether that’s within themselves, their teams, or their organization, so do that. Help me. Help a friend. Win win all around. And hey, you look like a great friend at the same time. So just hit that little share button on your app and then feel free to fire this episode to anyone that you feel would benefit from it.
Scott McCarthy [00:20:45]:
Finally, there’s always more there’s always more lessons around being the highest performing leader that you can possibly be, whether that’s for yourself, your team, or your organization. So why don’t you subscribe subscribe to the show via movingforwardleadership.com subscribe. Until next time. Lead. Don’t boss. And thanks for coming out. Take care now. Bye.