Do you have a synchronised identity?
Growing up in the 80’s, I vividly remember the craze that followed Michael Jackson’s release of his popular hits Bad and Thriller which literally took the world by storm. Young Michael in the prime of his music career then drew such an incredible followership that continues even to this day beyond his life on earth. Of note however was the controversy that brewed when he created the impression that his original identity was inferior to the stardom and success he had achieved. It was at this point that some of his fans began to grow cold as they questioned his identity crisis. Reflecting back, I realise that many of my peers did not think much about his apparent desire to disassociate with his birth identity and race for as long as he remained successful in his music career. Their concerns only became real issues to them when the star started to suffer from the side effects of his earlier choices and decisions. This brought to my mind a realisation of the need to consistently remain true to our personal authentic identity in spite of progress and success.
Can you be emulated?
Do you know whether you have what it takes to become a great leader, the kind who attracts people and makes things happen? True leadership develops from the inside out. If you can become the leader you ought to be on the inside, you will be able to become the leader you want to be on the outside. According to British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, “Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence.” In reconciling your Private and Public Life for optimum productivity, we need to identify and evaluate critical issues relating to the interplay between private and public life of the leader as well as to design a personal change process leading to optimum productivity.
What causes Misalignment?
Misalignment is often a result of external and internal demands which can overwhelm one’s personal, public and private life. External demands include the performance pressure that individuals face daily to perform and produce results. Technological pressure often comes in the form of information overload which regularly creates demands for immediate attention. In the current global economic environment, a major factor is corporate downsizing, where organizational profitability creates pressure for one to remain in a perpetual state of maximum employability. On the other hand, internal demands also exert tremendous demands on the lives of individuals. Success Sickness is one such pressure which is often a result of a lack of strategic framework. Success sickness is the disease of always wanting more, but never being happy when you get it. It is that intangible pain that comes from not achieving goals that should never have been set or achieving them only to find out it didn’t matter. Another internal demand is the “Peers Pressure” which is simply personal indiscipline leading to spending resources to impress on things of minimal value to integrated personal life.
In the contemporary world, what has been exalted as progress in many instances has become the cause of much unrest and poorly reconciled lives. The erosion of socio-cultural and spiritual stability in past three decades has led to a widespread life of delinquency. This is also coupled with people continually re-inventing and re-tooling themselves for perpetual employability. On a broader analysis some of this is a result of pursuing a life packed with things that dulls senses but offer no cure to internal restfulness. Some of the symptoms of lives that are not reconciled can be seen in double-standard impoverished values which are seen in the unreasonable pursuit to achieve goals in order to outshine others or the pursuit of intellectual accolades at the expense of practical wisdom. The symptoms can also be seen in the exploitative thirst for personal wealth without boundaries.
Strategies for Reconciling Personal, Relational and Public Life
In order to produce stability which leads to optimum productivity individuals should consider adopting the following strategies:
• Develop clear personal vision, mission and values that reflect an integrated life
• Define parameters and identify specific skills needed to bring about balance in critical areas of daily life
• Factor family and other vital relationships into their personal life plan
• Invest resources wisely being mindful of priorities
• Evaluate personal progress at regular intervals and make necessary adjustments
It is of paramount importance that we regularly examine our lives because it is through this regular examination of all vital areas of life that we can maintain balance and enjoy optimum productivity. As a leader on any level, how you deal with the circumstances of life tells your followers many things about your character. Whilst we have no control over a lot of things in life, yet we do choose our character. In fact, we create it every time we make choices. It is our character that determines who we are, what we see and what we do. As we prepare to embrace yet another new year, let us spend some time looking at the major areas of our life and identify areas we might have cut corners, compromised, or let people down. Having done this, we must commit to rebuild because it is one thing to face up to our past actions and another to build a new future.