It’s been a struggle, hasn’t it? Managing work and family, family and life. You haven’t always gotten it right. In fact, you’ve probably screwed it up–made the wrong call, had the wrong priorities–more times than you’d like to admit.
So it makes sense that you don’t spend that much time thinking about helping other people get it right. But you should. Because the people you work with or for or the people who work for you, they also have a life outside of work. Like you, they are a mother or a father, a son or a daughter. Like you, they have kids and relationships and struggle to balance them all.
The legendary NBA coach Gregg Popovich is a hard driving boss but he does his best to try to help the people who work for and with him. His former assistant coach Mike Brown tells the story of when he was going through a separation. His two sons lived with their mom in Colorado but were visiting him in San Antonio for a week. Brown took them to the airport before he had to catch his own flight for an away game with the Spurs. His boys were crying and begging to not have to get on the plane, to be able to stay with their dad. Brown called Coach Pop to tell him he was having some trouble and asked him to hold the team plane a few more minutes. Pop told Brown to stay with his kids. No, no, no, Brown said, the kids will be fine.
“If you show up to this plane,” Pop told him, “you’re fired.” Come on, man! Brown said. I’m going to be there. “Remember, if I see you on this plane, you’re fired.” Click. Pop hung up on his assistant. Brown and his boys missed their flights and spent three more days together.
Can you imagine what it would feel like to have someone do that for you? Maybe not. But maybe you could make it feel a little more real by doing it for somebody else.