4 Rules For Being Successful At Work While Living A Balanced Life

Every year, I travel to dozens of countries to speak with executives. No matter where I go or who I’m speaking with, three things are clear:

  1. Business leaders/Executives are exceptionally disciplined in managing their work-life
  2. They are also stressed to the limit.
  3. They tend to put all their efforts towards their jobs.

Having been one of those guys when I first became an Executive, I concluded that this type of lifestyle was not sustainable – I had to find a balance.

In the past few years, I’ve found ways to achieve balance in four, interconnected dimensions: Family, Health, Work, and Social Responsibility/Community.

These four rules worked for me in giving back and maintaining a balanced life, and I’m hoping they will do the same for you:

1) Family is First… No Exceptions!

Remember that your family is your foundation. Too often we take family for granted, assuming they’ll always be there for us. That’s a good way to ensure that someday they won’t. Making time for family will remind you of what you’re working for. During that time, be sure to be fully present. Turn off your mobile devices and devote yourself completely to your relationships with your spouse, your children, and other loved ones. The rewards are priceless.

2) Choose to maintain Healthy Lifestyle

While taking care of business and others, don’t forget to take care of yourself. Between long hours and travel, you can quickly compromise your health through lack of exercise and unhealthy eating. I’ve learned that it’s best to exercise in the early morning, before life and work can give me any excuses. As far as diet is concerned, it’s easier now than ever to make healthy choices.

I look for ways to combine sport with family life and social causes. For example, when my son and I are enjoying time together in the pool, I use part of that time to work out. The Race for the Rhino event is a great example of how to combine fitness, family & friends with social activism.

3) Find ways to Give Back 

I’m grateful for the education and experiences that led to the career I have today. I consider it a privilege to do what I can to give something back to the community and world that has given so much to me and my family. A measure of individual and corporate success is doing good for others and seeing how your actions, no matter big or small, can change lives.

In addition to the Rhino conservation cycle tour, my wife and I sponsor an annual Christmas event in Brazil to help people in need. We also contribute to a local program in our hometown in Germany to provide lunches to underprivileged school children. Beyond finding a cause that’s personally important to you, look for ways to continually give-back so that you are always connected and reminded of the impact you can make on the world.

Social media is a great way to involve friends, family and those interested in supporting your cause – don’t be shy with using it to ask for support!

4) Become more Successful at Work

Being dedicated to my family, my health and giving back gives me more energy and motivation to succeed in my work life. Maintaining a balanced lifestyle reduces stress levels and increases my ability to focus.

I’m often asked how I’m able to do it all and the answer is simple: effective time management. As professionals, we’re accustomed to scheduling our days for maximum productivity. Apply those same skills to community, family, and health, and you’ll find yourself among the fortunate few who live their lives in balance.

How are you giving back? Is your life in balance?

I’d like to hear more about the creative ways that you find balance.

Follow me on twitter @obussmann.

Photo: Yagi Studio/Digital Vision/Getty Images

No Mobile Device for New ‘Monopoly’ Game Piece?

Hasbro made headlines this week with their cool crowdsourcing campaign: Save Your Token. Through multi-media marketing including Facebook and Twitter as the engagement platforms, Hasbro asked consumers to vote on retiring a Monopoly game piece and replace it with something new. The results were announced via Television on February 6. The campaign proved successful with fan participation from over 120 countries.

And the winner is…

Image Source

Much to my chagrin, I did not see a mobile device in the candidate pool. According to TechCrunch, the number of mobile devices will exceed the world’s population in 2012. A tablet or smartphone token would have been cool but ok, the cat wins and a new Monopoly star is born.

What I like about the campaign is that Hasbro used social media in a fun and creative way to engage consumers. What I love about the campaign is that the consumers had the final say. I’m sure Hasbro will see an uptick in Monopoly game sales before the iron is put away and another purchasing frenzy when the new token is put on the shelf. Well played Hasbro!

Making the increasingly smaller leap from the B2C world to B2B, the consumer is equally important. As I wrote in my last post, The Consumer IS the Enterprise, I pay close attention to consumer trends to anticipate enterprise demands. A good example of this is the movement towards enterprise mobility. Here’s a look at what we achieved at SAP:

Born out of consumer behavior which became employee demand, we’ve become the frontrunner and global trend-setter in leading enterprise mobility. We are driving the consumerization of Iinformation Technology:

  • Internal users can pick and choose between 10 corporate devices as Apple, Blackberry, Android and Windows devices
  • #2 iPad deployment globally with 20,000 devices
  • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) role model with over 5,000 devices in 21 countries
  • Over 50 mobile Apps developed

But the focus on consumer doesn’t stop there. In 2012, we opened eleven SAP Global IT Mobile Solution Centers – the “genius bar” of the enterprise. Designed to showcase the most up-to-date and cost-effective mobile solutions and options that SAP supports, the first Mobile Solution Center was launched in India, Mumbai. In 2013, these Centers will continue to open in SAP locations around the world.

So, what are the key learnings that enterprise business leaders can take away from the Hasbro campaign? I’ll share a few:

  • Recognize the power of the consumer and use it to drive innovation in your business.
  • Harness the strength of social media to listen to and actively engage your audience.
  • If the consumer IS the enterprise, then expect to see increased adoption of crowdsourcing practices in the enterprise.