Randy Siegel builds the people who build organizations.

Organizations hire Randy to transform high-potential employees into a new generation of leaders. Randy gives them the leadership and communications skills they need to rise through the organization.

CEOs hire Randy to help them become more charismatic leaders, spokespeople, and ambassadors for the organizations they serve.

His work is based upon a proprietary process that facilitates self-discovery to clarify personal perspective, true purpose, and professional image.

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I'm fired up! I've kicked off 2008 with a creative burst of energy. First, I've been hard at work on a book proposal for my third book, The Power of Connection. I'll be telling you more about it later this year.

Second, I have been painting like a house afire. Much of my painting is intuitive; rarely do I begin painting with an outcome in mind. (Wink: I am sure some of you won't find that surprising.) As you can see by my new work,, a "red-faced series" has emerged.

Third, a dear friend of mine who is a very talented abstract artist, Betty Clark, has invited me to share a studio with her. It is a fabulous loft not far from the river.

Finally, Greg and I just returned from a long weekend in New York where we visited friends and attended The Outsider Show which featured many of the world's top outsider art galleries. For those of you who don't know, outsiders are artists that are considered outside the mainstream. I used to collect work by these artists, and still do from time to time.

A lot is happening and so much to be grateful for. This month, we'll continue examine the work-life balance.

Soothing the Thorny Issue of Work-Life Balance

At no time do I get more reader mail than when I write about work-life balance. The big blur between work, home, and leisure seems to drive many of us a little batty.

With e-mail, text and instant messaging, pagers, and cell phones, we have become accessible 24-7. Work has become not a place but a state of mind. Instead of three individual slices, we have one big pie filled with a gooey mixture of work, home, and leisure making it virtually impossible to create boundaries between the three.

On a recent flight to Toronto, I read a summary of Vince Poscente's new book The Age of Speed: Learning to Thrive in a More-Faster-Now World. In it, Poscente offers an interesting suggestion on how to sooth the thorny issue of work-life balance.

Poscente tells the story of Yvon Chouinard, the founder of Patagonia, who once took the leaders of his company on a trip to South America during a particularly tough financial time for the company. Once in Argentina, they climbed a mountain. At the top, Chouinard invited the group to share their visions for an ideal future.

The Patagonia team realized that their ideal company wouldn't distinguish between work, home, and leisure. They felt it was important to enjoy the eight to ten hours a day at work as much as the other hours of the day. They didn't want to have to shift their values and passions during business hours; if their values and passions didn't change from Sunday to Monday, why should their perspective at work change?

A while back, I reached a similar conclusion. You may remember that I rented an office/studio in Asheville's river district earlier this year in an effort to separate work from home. Within a month, I moved back into my home office after concluding the solution was more psychological than physical.

Instead of focusing on erecting artificial barriers between work, life, and leisure, I began to focus on my purpose statement, values, and priorities. I found that while the emphasis shifted from week to week depending on priorities, all three areas of my life - work, home, and leisure -- were satisfied.

There's a growing trend for companies to promote boundary-free time. Best Buy in its Results-Only Work Environment (ROWE) allows employees to decide when, where, and how they work - as long as they meet goals. ROWE doesn't measure hours at the office, only productivity and outcomes, and the results are impressive. Employees report that their family relationships, company loyalty, and focus at work have improved. A study after the new approach was initiated also showed a 35 percent increase in their productivity.

When we adopt a values-based time model, we organize our time around purpose, priorities, and values rather than duties and location. We depend on intuition rather than systems. Then, how we spend our time reflects who we are rather than where we are and what we're doing.


Copyright Randy Siegel 2007. All rights reserved.