On the topic of Work/Life Balance

I lost a friend this week.

I’ve known him for almost 20 years through involvement with various professional organizations. Joe was one of those guys who was active – in all aspects of his life. Heavily involved with his alma mater, a leader in at least two professional organizations I belong to, and responsible for spawning at least two others — on top of his day job. Always on the go.

The day job was not unlike that of the rest of us, which involved hard work and hard knocks over the years. And his professional organizations, volunteerism and charitble endeavors earned him the respect of many – including myself.

I met his wife, only once, in their home, as we were wrapping up a tour of his office and going out for lunch. She was exactly what I envirisioned for Joe’s wife. And, as it happened, I ended up working with Joe’s son the last two years, and he has, fortunately, inherited his father’s good traits. Good people.

One of Joe’s traits was a deep commitment and desire to help people – personally and professionally. I was one such recipient of his efforts to help me through transition, and when the tides were turned, there was no hesitation to reciprocate.

Did Joe have the right work/life balance? Up until the last coupe years, I would say, “absolutely.” He worked to live, and paid it forward for many. Passionate. Not everyone can say that.

So, I lost a 56 year old friend, this week, and I’m somewhat shaken. I sincerely wish that I had more time to spend with Joe. And I am thinking a lot about his wife and son and extended family. I will be 65 this year, and “still working hard”.

Do I need to work this hard or this much – to live? No, but it’s my own work ethic that drives me, not need. Should I kick back and spend more time on the people that I care about most? Maybe. This has me thinking.

Peyton Manning Retires – goes out on top

Peyton Manning announced his retirement, following 18 years in the NFL, and having won the Super Bowl a second time – for two different teams. One of very few people who have that opportunity. Congratulations, and best of luck to you!

I wrote a post on Peyton before, but this morning’s Philadelphia Inquirer (AP) said it again:

“I get asked a lot about my legacy,” Manning said before the Super Bowl. “For me, it’s being a good teammate, having the respect of my teammates, having the respect of the coaches and players. That’s important to me.”

“Peyton was a player that guys wanted to play with,” Elway said. “That made us better as a team and I’m thrilled that we were able to win a championship in his final year.”

Matt Klentak, the Phillies New GM

The luster over the Philadelphia Phillies has faded over the past few years, and I feel that the team hit bottom last season. I lost interest, along with much of the fan base. Is the team doing something about it? Yes, I do believe they are – and as a Philly fan, I hope they are successful.

If you’ve read my blog over time, you know that I love to pull leadership lessons from our sports teams, or sports, in general. Today is no exception. Matt Klentak is relatively young, at 35, a former baseball player from Dartmouth, hired last October.

The Phillies undoubtedly have their challenges again for the 2016 season, but, from what little I’ve read, they are implementing a strategy that I think will be successful, in the long run, and I’m sure that some of that is due to Matt Klentak.

He played ball, at Dartmouth, in the shadow of “Moneybag”, the metrics-driven methodology that many people have seemingly adopted. However, “It was there that Klentak routinely batted at the bottom of the order, his average never eclipsing .273, but remained a mainstay in the lineup because of his defense, his leadership, and his willingness to play the sort of “small ball” that most sabermetricians loathe. And it was there that he learned the necessity of keeping those opposing perspectives in proportion when trying to build a winning team.”

Klentak said. “When you’re surrounded by people you know, people you like, people who encourage you, a coaching staff or manager who inspires you, all those things allow players to be at their very best.”

According to Bob Whalen, Dartmouth’s Head Coach for 26 years, “You can look at all the numbers you want, but at some point, you have to believe in the kids you’re taking.”

Once again, you can relate Sports to the real world of business. While being “metrics driven” is a good thing, in general, it is not everything. To paraphrase the above quote, you can look at all the numbers you want, but at some point, you have to believe in the people you have on your team.

Good luck to Matt and the Phillies!

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/sports/20160306_Sielski__Dartmouth_baseball_shaped_Phillies__Klentak.html#sOjhdlDz1D6dtOEE.99