[January 17, 2014] Leadership requires a person with a balanced personality. The problem, of course, with this observation is the debate over what constitutes a “balanced” personality.
There are many books and articles, as well as big businesses that make money allegedly offering the answers through a balanced personal life. Some of these actually have great points about how to live and feel better. Most of these address the work-life balance – too much work equals a bad life.
While balance is one of those secrets to a good life, each individual requires a difference source of life ingredients that makes one enjoy life. Many men for example, are defined by their occupation. So we can expect that if work is lost, some men will see themselves as less valuable and more prone to feeling less adequate.
Balance also affects leadership styles and the life of leaders. What is required to be balanced, like spirituality, is often not discussed. So what I proposed is a balance of a number of human activities.
What are these necessary issues that humans must have to experience a good life and for leaders to be more effective? Here is a simple list.
- Mental fitness (intellectual stimulation, education, reading, academic discussions)
- Physical health (good health, regular exercise)
- Spirituality (religion, deep beliefs, core values)
- Social contact (friendship, love, companionship)
- Meaningful occupation (work, job, recreation, hobbies)
Almost sounds like Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, doesn’t it? Yes, there is some relationship here. The point however is that human psychology requires more than a single dimension to a good life. We have all known a rich, but unhappy, person. Of course, money doesn’t buy love or happiness.
Important for leaders to understand is the idea that when working with people, addressing only a single aspect of a person certainly leaves out a lot. It takes more than providing a satisfying work environment, more than an air-conditioned office.
Leaders who are aware of the many dimensions of humans are more like to help their followers to achieve good things, accomplish organizational mission sets, and yes, be happy.