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April 23, 2012

A Facebook Work/Life Balance Lesson I “Like”

In a recent online video, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said she leaves the office every day at 5:30 pm so she can have dinner with her kids – and she has since they were born.

At the same time, Sandberg is realistic about the challenge of striking the right work/life balance – a challenge many of us face.

For years after she started leaving at 5:30 pm, Sandberg would get up early and stay up late, responding to emails to show her bosses she was working and adding value. As it is for many, the struggle to unplug from work was difficult for her.

But recently, Sandberg has become vocal – internally and externally – about the importance of a strong work/life balance. 

It’s a powerful statement from a senior leader at one of the world’s most visible companies.

While some will suggest she is able to do so precisely because she’s a senior leader, that argument misses the larger point.

Leaders lead by example.

Sandberg is telling her staff – women and men – it’s ok to leave work at a reasonable time so you can have dinner with your family, attend your kids’ soccer game and live your life.

How do you demonstrate the value of a strong work/life balance to your team?

-David Grossman

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