Leaders Know How to Live

stained glass window

What do you enjoy? Do you like watching sports? The NFL, NBA, college football or hoops, English Premier League soccer, or tennis? Perhaps you enjoy going to Broadway shows or visiting museums such at The Louvre. Or traveling and seeing sites such as the Pyramids of Giza or the Great Wall of China. Maybe you like slow-cooking ribs or brisket. Or entertaining guests at your house. Or “fill-in-the-blank.” There are many “things” people enjoy doing. From activities that require unique skills to spectator events. Some activities are “other” focused, such as building homes with Habitat for Humanity. Others are “you” focused, such as getting a mani/pedi or going fly-fishing on your favorite brook trout stream in the mountains. Regardless, there are many things people, the world over, do because they enjoy it. They find these things rewarding, satisfying.

There are many things I enjoy doing. Some I’ve listed above. Traveling. Grilling. Site-seeing. Watching sports. Spending time with my family. Serving others. Reading. Fly-fishing. Cooking breakfast. Raising roses. Scuba-diving. Riding motorcycles. Skiing. Hiking. And working. Yes, I said “working.” I get a tremendous sense of satisfaction from working. I get to help others. I get to remove obstacles. I get to encourage others. I get to build my team. I get to satisfy the needs of customers. I get to solve problems. I get to overcome barriers. I get to spend time with people. I get to develop others. And I get PAID to do it! Wow! How awesome is that?!!!

On Sunday mornings, you’ll find me in church. I love going and listening to our pastor teach. I love singing contemporary praise songs. And I love worshiping in a community of believers. I look forward to church on Sundays. It’s something I “want to” do versus something I “have to” do.

You’re the same way, right? No one has to force you to do the things you enjoy doing. I know many people who wake up early when they’re going on a road-trip or doing something they really enjoy. No need to set the alarm. They’re up early and ready to go. If you golf, would someone have to wake you to make your 8am tee-time at Augusta National? No! You’d be up early and ready to go because you’re excitement would be overflowing. Playing Augusta National is living.

So is work if you have the right perspective. It is a calling. If you enjoy what you do, it’s not really “work.” If you look for opportunities to help others, you’ll find the time flies by. It’s okay to have a bad day or a bad week. But if you have bad week after bad month after bad year, it’s time for a change. Great leaders know how to live. They know how to enjoy life and how to enjoy work.

Have you ever thought about how much time you spend at work? Answer, a lot. Find something that pays the bills and that you enjoy. Don’t let if become a grind. If it does, then you need to change your attitude or change jobs. Don’t allow yourself to be miserable for 20-40 years while you await retirement.

In the last week, I read a sad post on LinkedIn. In fact, it’s what prompted me to write this article. There was a lady, a professional, who was retiring. She posted about no longer having to “eke out” a living. She talked about how it was now time to enjoy life and smell the roses, and do things and appreciate life. She said that retirement was the beginning of self-discovery and happiness. She was looking forward to all that life had in store for her, those things she hadn’t experienced or enjoyed for the previous 3 decades. How sad!

Great leaders know how to live. They know how to enjoy the moment. Yes, they work hard. Yes, they make an investment of blood, sweat and tears. But they balance the short-term with the long-term. They invest for the future, but they also enjoy the present. They work hard. But they also play hard. They balance their work life with their social life. They balance their physical life with their spiritual life. They live in the moment while keeping an eye on the future.

I truly hope the newly retired lady has an amazing retirement. But I’m also a little saddened that she viewed her job as a “have to.” Daily, I think about performing and surpassing my professional goals/objective But I also have fun. I laugh. I serve. I help others. I remove obstacles. I do more than eke out a living.

What are you doing? Do you know how to live? Regardless of your profession or salary, do you know how to live? You may be a stay-at-home parent or a volunteer who doesn’t earn monetary compensation, but you still need to be cognizant of living. You still need to enjoy the moment-by-moment grind. Entropy, life, concerns, politics, global-warming, inflation, taxes, fender-benders, sickness, exams, annual reviews and traffic will try to rob you of the joy of living. Don’t let it get you. Keep your perspective. Enjoy retirement when it comes, but remember to enjoy life while you’re working as well.

If you need a word of encouragement or a different perspective, let me know.

Have a great week and remember to be diligent and clear in your communication!

is an agent of change and is able to balance the needs of the business and the needs of people. Dr. Gerwig believes and practices the values of performance and delivery of business metrics while simultaneously developing and growing people into leaders. You can contact him at RobertGerwig[at]LeadStrategic.com.


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