“The question is not what keeps you up at night but what gets you up in the morning.”
~ Bill Taylor, Co-founder, Fast Company
Focus Forward from Care.com
Energy conservation (yours, not the planet’s), story-telling to the power of ten, paradigm shifting solutions for how we train teachers and in turn prepare our work force, new studies on the extreme worker (read Wall St bankers, lawyers and other 70+ hour a week professionals) and the real obstacles to effective long term telecommuting were a smattering of the conversations I was able to listen to last week at Care.com’s Focus Forward conference in NYC.
The crux of the day’s fresh and fierce energy was a beautifully varied line up of work and life experts who showed, not just told, how our lives are changing and adjusting to unprecedented levels of noise and distraction. We meditated, even shed a few tears–and before you roll your eyes and tune out–looked at some critical data on trends and realities facing our contemporary workplaces.
Old Habits Die Hard
Cathy Benko, Deloitte’s talent management guru and author showed that men are experiencing a 1/3 greater level of dissatisfaction than women with their work life fit–the kitchen table has become the new negotiating table. We persist with an industrial revolution workplace model, replete with rigid reporting lines and hierarchies. As I wrote last year on Kathie Lingle’s (Alliance for Work Life Progress) work, this is not working in a quantum physics world. It’s so hard to break our addiction to climbing the ladder, to the next title, to that holy grail of status. How else to measure our progress?
The magic bullet was one of the last things said, “The question is not what keeps you up at night but what gets you up in the morning!” from final speaker Bill Taylor.
Isn’t that just it?! Parents among us might blithely quip, “our children sitting on our heads” but digging deeper… what is it for you?
The Rising Generation Want More
Nadira Hira, Gen Y peer and commentator said that despite beginning enter their 30s, Millennials have not lost their questions nor their skepticism about the life and work pathways forged by the Baby Boomers. Gen Y is thinking, “Why do I want bureaucracy when I can make an impact?” As they pit “passion versus excellence,” they are constantly asking, “Why am I doing this? What is the purpose?” Gen Y are looking at the top jobs and not being overly inspired by what they see. They must have been cribbing from the Energy Project’s playbook, “Is the life you’re living worth the price you’re paying?”
Being a True Leader in Your Own Life
Ben Foss, a dyslexic genius who has spent his career inventing solutions for those differently abled and more recently fighting for the rights of US military veterans threw down this gauntlet.
“Leadership is what happens when you’re not in the room. Usually in the bathroom…”
Yes? Right?! From Fortune 500 to your very own household, we can all dive into the truth of that statement. Whether your current iteration of leadership is as an at-home parent, or the CEO of a large corporation, the litmus test of how you truly lead happens when you walk out of the room and your ‘followers’ talk about you.
You will be the most effective when you are more focused on doing what gets you jumping out of bed in the morning then what you’re lying awake at night worrying over. So what is it for you?
The brave new world–not of just of work, but of living–demands you know the answer to that question.
Disclosure: I attended the event as a blogger/press member. My thanks to all the Care.com team and sponsors Boston College Center for Work and Family, Deloitte’s and TheLadders.com for a truly refreshing and inspiring work life event.