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Now That’s the Wrong Analogy

Wednesday, July 7, 2021 - Joe Kiedinger

The work/life balance analogy has been a hot subject, especially during the last decade. As the generational balance of the workforce tips, more Boomers retire and more Gen Zers enter the workforce, there’s an unmistakable call for a different type of leadership.

The traditionalists were taught that work and life are two separate entities, that’s why Dad dropped his briefcase at the door when he arrived home each weeknight. And, back then, it was easier to keep our home lives separate from our work lives. No internet, no social media, no prying eyes.

In contrast, today’s newest members of the workforce expect, and even crave, a leader who knows and understands them personally and allows for more flexibility. Is it any wonder why? The youngest workers have grown up in a connection drought. Their personal lives have been largely lived out via social media and text messages. And they face social pressure to present a “perfect” image online. By their estimation, everyone knows everything about them, only virtually. They can’t hide their personal lives as easily as our parents once did.

What is it these young workers desire more than anything? Authentic connection. Because much of their social interaction has taken place behind a screen, they have an incredible draw to a very human element: real, true, in-person, genuine connection with another person. It’s just how we’re wired emotionally.

Want to be a truly great leader? Get over the antiquated idea that work and life are two separate things. We are not two separate people at work and at home. We take our full selves with us everywhere we go. So, let’s do life together. Be real, be authentic, be open with your people.

JOE KIEDINGER

ACTION PLAN: Today’s leaders need to reimagine everything they’ve learned about leadership—because the rules have changed! Ready to step into the Connection Age? Let’s go.