over 30 years, you have made the phrase time to go home at the end
of a long day something to celebrate and to anticipate. Behind
almost every successful elected or appointed official who cares
about public service and there are millions of us stands a
critically important personal off-work support system.
system is one person the spouse, parent, significant other, good
friend, etc., who offers a trusted, sympathetic retreat from the
pressures, uncertainties, worries, and mistakes of a particular
meeting, day, month or career.
Of course, most
public administrators come home with cause to celebrate the success
of the day, the positive difference made in a persons life, or in
the future of the community. These great joys of public service,
ironically, also need a listening, informed and collaborative
partner with whom to share.
and work life are richer when we can share them with others. The
most successful people are the most involved and the most likely
practitioners of civic engagement. They are involved in community
interests and hobbies beyond the borders of their job
classifications. They may teach or play music. They are involved in
sports or other hobbies.
What they all
have in common is that they have interests that challenge varied
parts of the anatomy, but principally the brain and the heart. This
contributes to sustained mental and physical health.
In the HR
Doctors experience, there is what physicians would call a palpable
difference between the observable performance and behavior of
employees who have support systems in place and of those who dont.
The latter are often kind enough to share their personal attendance
problems, financial difficulties, substance abuse struggles, etc.
with their colleagues.
of whining is greatest in the immediate vicinity of these folks.
Well supported people, on the other hand, recognize that there is
more to life and more to be gained by constructive contribution than
by a continuous search for the next chapter in the Book of
The joys of
family, of community and of supporting one another are full partners
in overall life success, just as they are a necessary component of
work success. There actually is much more to life than
Remember the HR Doctors maxim that when you die, your in
box will still be full. The great irony is that those who
understand this point about the work life home life balance will
be more successful in both domains.
So, as the HR
Doctor looks back on his own career so far, it has been, and will,
hopefully, continue to be full of constructive engagement at work,
in the community and in the home.
Charlotte, thank you for being
my partner and my shelter
my challenger and my sanctuary. You are
truly the wind beneath my memos.