One of the things I never really properly understood with Human Synergistics until recently was the importance of the broader life aspect of the Lifestyles Inventory (LSI). I think sub consciously I looked upon it as a personal development tool to improve my performance as a leader at work.
However something was missing. I wasn’t fully satisfied; I was getting tired/ burnt out, and didn’t really feel like life was the way it should be. So whilst my LSI profile was getting more constructive I wasn’t getting happier. The penny dropped recently that I was treating the LSI as a LSI (leadership styles inventory not lifestyles inventory). I looked upon achievement in what I achieved at work an ignored things such as learning to wakeboard, getting a Harley, achieving my fitness goals, teaching my kids’ stuff, enjoying my close friendships, enjoying my relationship with my wife and so forth. I placed a barrier between what was work and what was life.
This was particularly an exacerbated issue for me given my own fears and insecurities. Largely I don’t have a lot of fears in life as I have been blessed to have an upbringing where I was loved and encouraged. However my upbringing also focused heavily on the need to be a hard-worker and succeed at your career. There was very strong messaging around what you achieve at work.
So for a long time I have prioritised getting degrees, working long hours, and delivering at any costs. However deep inside me what I was passionate about was learning, challenging myself, teaching, supporting, socialising, adventure, and experiencing lots of different stuff. I have now come to realise that becoming a C grade footy captain, surviving basic training in the army, coaching the local country footy side, running my first 12 km run, travelling to all but one continent in the world, paying off my first house at 26, and being a stay at home dad are the things I most enjoyed and gave me most sense of achievement to date. I discounted these as not achieving, when in fact it was these things I was most proud of in my heart and not achieving ducks and honours at university, or being a finance manager at one of the state’s largest companies.
We all have the need for productive work. I have had many self- actualising experiences in my career including helping Kym set up BRS, being part of establishing a new gold mine in WA, teaching and coaching many of the beautiful people I have worked with, and the joy of learning at university. However I need to balance where I spend my energy and recognise that achieving stuff, acting with integrity, teaching and coaching, and enjoying great relationships is more important in broader life as what it is as a leader at work.
Thank-you Jodie for that great advice.