Latinas and Everyday Leadership for Work and Life

How many reading this article are experiencing the angst of tanto que necesito hacer hoy, so many things that I need to get done today?



The sense of feeling overwhelmed as you think about all that you need to accomplish today, tomorrow and the next day.  An inventory of responsibilities related to your career, family, friends, community, retirement and self.  The number of to do’s continue to increase and you continue to struggle with doing it all.

Being overwhelmed with life’s demands is probably the most recurring theme and concern that we at Madrinas hear about from our members.  I had the opportunity to share my thoughts and my OMG moment regarding this dilemma during Madrinas May 2015 Conversation Series.   Here is a summary of my experience as shared with the participants.    

My phone rang and it was my mom on the other line. While her opening line was familiar, what part of the world are you at today? , what followed was not.  She went on to describe the image that often came to her when she thought of me – me on top of a steep hill, balancing myself with one foot firm at the tip of the hill and the other foot dangling in the air. Confused, I asked her, why that image?

Her response, because you can’t stay still long enough to enjoy a moment, you are always in grasp of the next ‘to do’. Always moving and I wonder where are you going and will you have accomplished your purpose in life when you get there? This was the moment that triggered my pausing to reframe how I approached life and its demands.

There is a plethora of literature and schools of thought on how to handle the ‘balancing’ of work and life demands.  Despite all of this literature, I have concluded that there’s no magic solution nor is there a one size fits all to handling the demands.  What worked for me was to take a personalized approach to how I view and manage my life.  I like to think of it as EVERYDAY LEADERSHIP at its best.

The notion of ‘balancing work and life’ is both very alien and confusing to me. Why?  Well, work just happens to be an integral part of my daily life.  It is much simpler for me to think of managing my life, and recognizing that work is one important element of that overarching frame we know as life. My life is made up of my profession, community, family, friends, and yes…ME.  Each day, based on the demands, I make choices as to how I will spend my time.

As I thought about this, it occurred to me that since I have an entrepreneur spirit, I could combine my entrepreneur and leadership skills to better manage my everyday life.

I went to work, approaching the process as a case study.  As any effective leader would do, my first step was to I outline my vision – the most important things that I wanted to accomplish in my life.  There were things that related to how I wanted to show up with family, community, work, and with myself. 

Next- How do I realistically prioritize and align all of these goals? 

Betsy Silva
Betsy Silva
Betsy is an international consultant focused on leadership coaching, talent management, and global inclusion workplace strategies .  She has worked in thirteen countries.  Betsy has been recognized as one of Hispanic’s  Corporate Elite Top 25 Executives (2013). She is the Director of Diversity, Inclusion and Engagement for Boehringer Ingelheim and has served as VP of Diversity for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Global VP of Diversity and Inclusion for American Express and Senior Director  for Sodexo. Betsy serves on the board of Madrinas, a non-for-profit focused on the advancement of Latinas and on USLBN’s Corporate Advisory Board, a non-profit serving persons with disabilities She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Inter-American University in Puerto Rico and completed the Executive Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.  Betsy is a certification leadership coach.   Website

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