Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Work Life Balance for the Sandwiched CTO

Never more in my life have I required work-life balance and understand what it means at a personal level. This all started when I accepted a CTO position with Bluedrop Learning Networks ( a great organization with a good alignment to my career journey ). The interview process was extensive and I had the opportunity to meet all corners of the team I would be working with. Overall a good and thorough process. Kudos to everyone involved! The interview process included multiple discussions about work-life balance, and how I (in my mid-50's) have four aging parents over 80 years, two middle-school age children, one young adult age child, a bunch of volunteer activities, personal interests that I wont let go, and three residences to maintain. Oh yes, and a spouse who is an family doctor who also works in palliative care... needless to say I am often the go-to person when a short notice family issue arises. All this said, and after a few important conversations I had to let go of my new CTO role after only six months. I needed to focus on what I consider most important for my family. Though I am not an entrepreneur ( - though, I do think a good CTO needs to have the entrepreneur mindset - ) I completely agree with Randi Zuckerberg about approaches to managing the workload of a senior professional, or also known as the entrepreneur's dilemma.
For me, it's that simple. It's the implementation that will be the hard part. I need to have spending time with family, staying fit (in good health), and getting sleep to be my priorities. And I need to organize my life around these three and the others come in between or when priorities change. Something important to consider is that these five items need to be put into the larger context of a life well lived through a whole lifetime. That means you pick three on a daily, weekly, or yearly basis. Set your priorities for the day and/or week and follow through. This allows for flexibility within the entrepreneur's dilemma. In other words;
As you can see I also added one, be creative... my thinking around this aligns with having the time to think and create, free the brain to focus on the abstract and artistic and to wonder aimlessly... it is an important part, and keeps your edge in a world where innovation is becoming increasingly important.