The Importance of Hope

Creating Culture Change Requires Courage and Hope

A guest post from Jessica DeGroot, ThirdPath’s founder and president.

What keeps the ThirdPath community moving forward? Learning from and being inspired by the amazing moms, dads and leaders who have gone ahead and asked for change – even when they’ve had to be the first to do so. Since founding ThirdPath I’ve learned that connecting to this courageous community has made us smarter, it’s also fostered my sense of hope. What derails the progress we are all working towards? Losing hope, and losing courage.

Why do I know this? Change is hard. It requires overcoming many obstacles, But here are a few things that help us stay the course:

  • Previous positive experiences around work-life integration – so even if you are failing at the moment – you stay motivated to keep making changes to achieve integration once again
  • Strong support at home, including someone who keeps encouraging you to reach for an integrated solution, even if it means leaving an unsupportive workplace
  • Seeking out role models who inspire you that integration can be achieved
  • Taking time to recharge and replenish your energy so you can overcome the next obstacle

As Peter Senge taught us long ago that when people maintain hope around what’s possible, it helps them avoid lowering their goals, it also helps them discover new and more creative solutions.

If you think it’s gotten easier for leaders to integrate work and life since ThirdPath was founded, think again. Here’s why:

  • Creating a high performing team that supports everyone’s work-life integration goals is the best way a leader can achieve work-life integration themselves
  • Creating a team like this is harder than you think, and it takes an investment in time and planning
  • When leaders don’t have time to think and plan, they may begin to give up on their own work-life integration goals, and thinking less creatively around these issues for their team

Given these truths, should we be surprised that so many leaders give up hope, lower their goals, and let work take over their nights, weekends and even vacations?

I know supporting leaders to model integrated lives is key to change. However, I can now see that hopelessness is another obstacle we may need to overcome when helping leaders reach for their own, and their organization’s work-life integration goals.

Want to become more hopeful about how our workplaces can better support us as we integrate work and life responsibilities? Listen to our amazing webinar with Scott Behson, author of the Whole-Person Workplace, and Delta Emerson, who helped transform her workplace to support a more “whole-person” approach to work as well.

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