Work-Life Balance…the Disconnect

“If you won $500 million in the lottery, would you be at work tomorrow?”

Seems like a no-brainer answer to most of us.

But, in my work I am seeing a disconnect along a continuum – at the lowest levels of the hierarchy, the answer is a resounding “Hell No”. However, at the highest levels, the entrepreneurs…the C-suite…the business owners, the answer is a resounding “Of Course – I love what I do”. Toward the center of the continuum, the answers are a mixed bag with the majority saying they would quit if money were no object.

What does this mean?

For the people at the top of the food chain, it means work-life balance is irrelevant. They are doing what they want to do – they love what they do – their life is purposeful. Their work life IS their real life.

For the others, it means that work still serves a function in their lives – it funds their real life. And it means they are still trying to maintain a good balance. In mathematical terms, they are trading x (some amount of time, expertise, and effort) for y (some form of compensation). And as long as x=y is a balanced equation, the world is a good place.