Over the past few weeks, we have packed and moved our family from the only house we have ever owned. Last year, my husband accepted an amazing city management opportunity for a community that we now call home. Our family has been welcomed with remarkable kindness and graciousness, which has helped ease the difficulties associated with relocating. And yet…it is hard not to feel like we have lost an old friend.
Our home was purchased during our first year of marriage and held many social gatherings of family and friends—from Easter egg dying, birthday parties, basketball watch parties, and late nights on the patio. This home has witnessed many life events as we transitioned from the proverbial dual-income-no-kids couple to the mini-van couple struggling to balance family and career. The walls and roof of this home were supported by a metaphorical foundation of memories that run the gamut of human emotions. Nothing can replace the joy of bringing our children home for the first time or watching them learn, grow, and eventually take their first steps on our hardwood floors. It provided a safe place to handle the frustrations of pregnancy bed rest and late nights with sick children. It helped us cope as we searched for understanding during national tragedies and the mourning of a dear friend who was taken by cancer way too young. Like an old friend, our house was always there for us to lean on and turn to for strength. As the house was packed and quietly stood empty again, I was reminded that the memories are special—not the house.
The desire to be a leader has impacts on your personal life—early mornings, late nights, added stress, and pressure. Leadership offers incredible opportunities, but it also requires your family to build a life around your alternative schedule, understand the demands, and, often, relocate or undertake other transitions.
While I take the time this week to say farewell to an old friend, consider the demands that your leadership position places on your family. What opportunities have they been provided? What sacrifices have they made?
Executive Search Manager
An excellent article. Very well written. Memories, especially good one, often times help us make it through the difficult times. However, often times its our loved one and their sacrifices that afford us the opportunities we get. Good luck on your new adventure.
Thank you – A powerful perspective on the holistic cost of leadership