The Pendulum of Balance in Work and Life

It’s Never Easy

Steve Reinemund served with PepsiCo for over 23 years, the last six of which he spent as the CEO. He retired as the Dean of the Business School at Wake Forest University in 2014. Steve knows the difficulties of balancing the demands of an exciting job with the commitments of family. As he tells a part of his story, pay attention to the considerations he made when it came to balance.  

Steve calls balance a pendulum—every time we think we’ve arrived, the pendulum keeps on swinging, and we end up at another extreme. For Steve, it was the excitement of a job in a company that was growing rapidly. His passion for his work kept him engaged, but his family suffered. He had to make a choice. He had to start the pendulum swinging back toward balance. 

What things in your life tend to dominate your time? Where does the pendulum swing most often for you?
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What areas would you like to focus more time and effort on? What would prevent you from achieving the goal of refocusing your time?
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Steve decided to give up a good thing (his thrilling job) to achieve balance for the sake of his family. In order to find balance in your life, is there something you’d have to give up? If so, what is it? What would you stand to gain?
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Sometimes balance for us doesn’t equal balance for others who depend on us. How can you, today, move toward balance for the sake of your family?
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Balance comes and goes as we walk through life. Sometimes, the need for balance becomes obvious when our families ask, “Why aren’t you home more?” As you go through your day, keep your eyes open to those areas in your life where you may need to swing the pendulum back toward center. Balance may not last long, but you can still strive for it. 

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