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Journal cover: Journal of Management Development

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Online from: 1982

Subject Area: Human Resource Management

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Balancing work and personal life: the leader as acrobat

Document Information:
Title:Balancing work and personal life: the leader as acrobat
Author(s):Farid A. Muna, (Meirc Training & Consulting, Dana Point, California, USA), Ned Mansour, (Board of the Ryland Group, USA)
Citation:Farid A. Muna, Ned Mansour, (2009) "Balancing work and personal life: the leader as acrobat", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 28 Iss: 2, pp.121 - 133
Keywords:Balanced scorecard, Family friendly organizations, Leadership, Quality of life
Article type:Literature review
DOI:10.1108/02621710910932089 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to exhort leaders, organizations, and HR professionals to introduce changes in the work structure and environment, as well to pioneer new policies and practices, which allow employees to bring more balance into their lives.

Design/methodology/approach – The long-term benefits of balanced work-life are outlined from the research literature as well as the experience of selected business leaders. This is followed by a series of practical exercises designed to help readers achieve work-life balance.

Findings – Using the metaphor of an acrobat, this paper provides compelling reasons and proven methodology for leaders and HR professionals to engage more seriously with the topic of work-life balance. How to effectively balance work with personal life is demonstrated through a series of personalized exercises which urge readers to examine their past, present, and future; and then set and implement short- and long-term action plans to reach goals that are linked to their personal values and priorities. The final exercise allows readers to track and measure progress using a Balanced Scorecard.

Research implications – This paper highlights the need for a longitudinal research to determine how leaders manage to balance their work and life, and what variables lead to either success or failure.

Practical implications – HR professionals must become creative when designing work systems/programs catering for those who prefer more flexibility through supportive organizational cultures and work/job structures.

Originality/value – This paper links the theory of work-life balance to implementation of changes in lifestyle through practical individual exercises. It is valuable to both leaders and HR professionals.

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