3 min read

Hey Tech Leaders - Get a Life!

My daughter the guitar hero!

Hey, fellow pathblazers and tech gurus. Grab a cuppa, and let’s journey into a chat less techy but oh-so-necessary. Now, in a world where our careers, passions, and hobbies often intertwine, it’s easy to find ourselves ensnared in the web of endless coding, management, and scaling the digital mountains. However, to truly thrive and evolve as leaders, it's time we look beyond our screens and keyboards. I'm here to make a fun yet seriously important declaration:

Get a life!

Taking a detour from our tech journey, let’s sidestep into the world of non-tech-related hobbies. Believe me, I know the whirl and hum of the tech universe. It's electrifying, captivating, and perpetually calling for our attention. But listen up; even in this vortex of innovation and digitization, it's crucial to carve out space for interests unrelated to technology.

Take a leaf out of my own chronicle. For the past several years, amidst the chaos of codes, leadership, and layoffs, I decided to plow a different terrain (oh, the puns!!) – my garden. I traded my tech hat for a gardening glove and dove into the world of flora and fauna, nurturing my passion for gardening. The result? An enriching odyssey that led me this year to become a certified Master Gardener in my county. Picture this: me, away from the screen, hands drenched in the earth, embracing the calm and chaos of nature, engaging in mandatory volunteer time, which, though a struggle amidst my bustling schedule, has been a grounding force.

Now you might wonder, how do trading codes for crops make one a superior leader? I tell you, the impact is profound. Stepping outside the familiar corridors of technology, I allowed myself to be vulnerable, to learn anew, and to connect with the world beyond algorithms and analytics. In the embrace of greenery, my stress bubble deflated, making room for rejuvenated creativity, fresh perspectives, and a revitalized spirit. That is not to say I have learned all there is to learn in tech. Quite the opposite!

The ever-constant need to stay abreast of the fast-paced never, ending technological advances led me to feel somewhat burnt out, demotivated, and... that my intellectual stability was sarcastically under-par (as I learned to say at the ripe age of 9)...

in other words, just plain ol' DUMB! For me trying to keep up on things that I would never really touch is exhausting. Gardening, however, is just the opposite; l learned, I touched, I grew (or failed), I learned more, and I reaped the harvest or admired the beauty. Which translated into gaining some confidence that my brain was still functioning and capable of learning new things. So when plunging into more complex learnings, I was more open and able to digest highly technical and deep dive into the things that matter to my work, my career, and my life.

Think about it. Engaging in a non-tech hobby is akin to opening a window in a well-insulated room. It ushers in fresh air, new light, and a shift in the ambient rhythm, enriching not just our personal well-being but enhancing our leadership abilities. As leaders, when we show up as wholesome individuals, embracing diverse interests, we unconsciously permit our teams to do the same. This holistic growth transcends professional boundaries, nurturing a culture of well-rounded, balanced, and highly engaged teams. The ripple effects? Enhanced creativity, bolstered resilience, heightened innovation, and an enriched human experience within the digital landscape.

Yet, amidst this, the balance is key. The onus is on us to ensure our newfound hobbies enrich us, not add to the existing cacophony of commitments. As I navigate the gardens, ensuring the hydrangeas and veggies thrive, I simultaneously ensure the experience complements my role as a leader, not counter it. It's a delicate dance of priorities, passion, and purpose.

So, as we spearhead the frontier of tech leadership, let's not forget the world that lies beyond. The world filled with paints, plants, music, mountains, and a myriad of interests waiting to be explored. Let’s ensure we lead not just in technology but in life, embracing a 360-degree growth, personally and professionally.

In the artful words of Alain de Botton, “There is no such thing as work-life balance. Everything worth fighting for unbalances your life.”

So let's unbalance to find our most balanced selves, shall we?

In the broad scope of life, let our leadership be more than just a narrow focus on the work - the work to be done, to do, to measure. Let it be a rich blend of varied experiences, passions, and learnings. After all, as leaders, aren’t we all gardeners, tenderly nurturing the seeds of growth, innovation, and human connection?

Wanna talk? I offer Mentorship Calls that address these challenges and more. Book a free consultation with me here.

Here’s to a well-rounded life and leadership, cheers! 🥂