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This is what leaders need to do to prevent work-life stress from taking over

Lead by example, but make it clear that work-life flexibility shouldn’t come at the expense of good performance


Leaders have a huge responsibility in contributing to work-life fulfillment, but they often forget what they can do to help employees achieve that. In a lot of work-life recommendations, we empower ourselves to balance brilliantly (despite problems with the idea of ‘balance’), find fulfillment, and seek satisfaction. This is all good. After all, it’s essential to be empowered and make things happen for ourselves. But, in addition to individual empowerment, leaders also have a crucial role to play in creating the conditions for work-life satisfaction in their place of work.

As a leader, you should make sure that you’re fulfilled in your personal and professional life. But you also have a lot of influence to create an environment that allows for work-life fulfillment and stop work stress from taking over. Here’s how.


The first step in leading for work-life satisfaction is finding your own fulfillment and being transparent about it. Social science research tells us that humans learn through watching and emulating others. We do this both consciously and unconsciously. That means how you act and the choices you make have a powerful effect on those around you—even if that’s not your intention. Be transparent about the choices you’re making. If you’re leaving the office early to catch your daughter’s soccer game, mention it to others. If you’ll be late to the office because you have to take your new puppy to the vet, be open about your timing and the reason behind it. When you’re open and transparent about your life outside of work—and that it’s okay to have one—you’ll empower others to do the same.

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