Being a parent is hard, and a lot harder for any new parent whilst running a business venture. With everything going on it can be super difficult to allocate time to get any work done and meet demands.
Riccarda Zezza is an Italian author, columnist and social entrepreneur. She founded Lifeed, a digital platform offering training programs that harness the unique skills learned during life transitions for the world of work. Riccarda Zezza gives 3 solid pointers on how to handle the work-life balance as a C-suit new parent executive.
Embrace ‘transilience’ and rethink ‘work-life balance’
You’ll likely find that working as a parent and a business leader in tandem is an exhausting experience – often resorting to multitasking and trying to juggle both of these roles at once. It’s fully understandable, our culture pushes us to separate our different roles, identities and actions into different contexts, stemming from the concept of ‘work-life balance’.
We find that it helps to reframe the work-life balance conundrum into a positive, symbiotic relationship. We call this ‘Transilience’, a word we invented to stress the ability we have as humans to transfer our resources, knowledge and skills from one role to the other. Both being a parent and being a workplace leader help hone incredible skills deep within us, and in a time of crisis, it’s really useful to consider different contexts to use these skills.
For example, maybe you’ve had to use new skills of persuasion at dinner time with your infant son, which you could potentially adapt and use to persuade your team about the new company strategy? Maybe you’ve delegated tasks at work across the team, and have then taken the same approach when delegating chores at home? And then maybe resolving some conflicts at home has taught you a new way to deal with conflicts at work?
Ask for help if you need it, both as a parent and as a leader
Susanna Zucchelli, MD of HERAtech recently discussed at a ‘Sensible Warriors’ conference that she has developed a maternal embracing attitude which has been absolutely essential during this recent time of crisis.
One example of this was shamelessly asking for help when she needs it as a young woman with children, rather than just delegating. She’s learned to embrace this as a CEO in the exact same way.
Embrace ‘Generative Leadership’
This is a type of leadership that is very prominent, naturally, in parents. It’s an instinct towards the next generation – to both found and guide them. It’s obvious how this manifests at home, but in the workplace, it’s about creating and nurturing something productive that will outlive your tenure.
These leaders know the importance of delegating tasks, as a means of making others responsible and accountable, and they strive to have an impact, may it be in their working life, in their family or in the whole society.
Parents have an advantage in this from personal practice, though it’s not exclusive to them. It can/should be embraced by all who believe in building a future both in terms of legacy and talent.