The Coach's Corner

There Is No Work-Life Balance

January 27th, 2020 // Tom Doescher //

Tom Doescher - Doescher Advisors

is the provocative title of an article co-authored by a Michigan Supreme Court justice and a Michigan law school professor.

Despite its title, the article is the best summary of this complex subject that I’ve ever read. As many of you know, for decades Plante Moran has put a lot of value on work-life balance. Until I read this article, I never really focused on the actual words. I won’t even attempt to summarize the article, but after you read it, please consider the following:

  1. I prefer using the label “flextime” instead of work-life balance.
  2. To me, the real question is: What do you want out of life?
  3. A second question would be: What is your purpose, or your “why”?
  4. Maybe you want to use the word happiness. As I’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, after 80 years, the Harvard Study of Adult Development has concluded the happiest and healthiest people have at least one good relationship.

The answers to the above questions are different for all of us.

As many of you know, I had a very demanding, challenging, all-consuming career at Plante Moran, which I thank God for providing me. That being said, because of the Plante Moran flextime policy, I was able to:

  1. Attend many of my son’s cross-country meets on weekday afternoons.
  2. Participate in many of my children’s parent-teacher conferences and other daytime events.
  3. Ski at more than 40 North American resorts during tax season.
  4. Lead 30 mission teams to countries all over the world.
  5. Play lots of tennis.

I think you get the point. As long as I took care of my clients and my team, I was able to take advantage of flextime.

The authors make a great case for how some may inappropriately try to separate and draw clear distinctions in their activities. One of my personal goals is to integrate my whole life. Here are some examples:

  1. I mentor a 14-year-old orphan who lives in Flint and enjoys art. To help him envision potential opportunities that are art-related, he and I have visited several Flint businesses where an artist could work. (By the way, since I’m new to Flint, these could also be future clients of Doescher Advisors.) How would I classify these visits on a work-life balance scale? Business? Ministry? Life?
  2. For Doescher Advisors clients who are interested in integrating their faith into their business, I share applicable Bible verses. Is this a business or a faith activity?
  3. Almost every day, I exercise at the gym. Many members of my parish work out there, too. I have clients and referral sources at the gym, as well. How do I classify that time?
  4. My wife and I are funding a scholarship in memory of our daughter at our local Catholic high school. As a result of this involvement, we’ve met many Flint business owners. How do you classify that time?

Once again, I think you get the point. Back to the original topic of work-life balance: My advice would be to find a place or start a business where you have the flexibility to live out your “Dream!”

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The Advisor’s Corner

Tom DoescherYou’ll find stories from the trenches, business lessons, and pertinent questions to help you find inspiration, professional growth, and leadership savvy.

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