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Work – Life Balance

People often ask me, how they can balance their home-life when their work-life is a disaster. I point them to a thing that we use here at The Rettig Corporation called “the list.” I tell them, “If you follow the list everyday, everything will fall into place.”


Stopping One Disaster From Begetting Another

We all know instinctively what is on the list. We just decide what we are going to do and what we are not going to do. Invariably, we do what is convenient for us and then we complain about the rest.

For instance, if your spouse is upset when you leave the house, it is much easier to complain than to do something about it — especially if when there is important sales meeting at 9:30am.

A better way to handle it would be to say as you are leaving, “I have a sales meeting this morning, but after that we will talk some more. I love you and I’m sorry about all of this.”

We all understand that, after the sales meeting, you may not know any more than you do now about the problems you are having at home, but, it is okay to call your partner and say, “I have to put out all these fires, first, then I will be able to talk a little better. For now, I have to get back to work.”

If you want to be a good CEO, you have to get it into your head that your privileged life is only privileged if you handle your responsibilities.


Put the Scepter Down

You have to check in on every department of your life, and when you do, make sure you are not the sorcerer who waves your scepter, demanding that people fix the problems that you can’t. Instead, put the scepter down, roll up your sleeves and help everyone.

Be very careful about the individuals that you hold in confidence. Nobody needs a “yes” man or woman. Qualified people are hard to find. Pray that heaven leads you to them.

CEOs wrongly direct lawyers, accountants and spouses so that they can selfishly do whatever they want to do. This is just the beginning. It’s as if our heroes and heroines believe that these people (and many others, too) are simply there to clear away the clutter when, in fact, the clutter is the misguided notion of the CEO.


  1. It is not your spouse’s job to invent happiness when there isn’t any.
  2. It is not your lawyer’s job to fix legal problems when there isn’t a solution.
  3. It is not you accountant’s job to reduce tax liability when the one incurred is correct.

The last one is my favorite, by the way.


The Philosophy Behind The List

There is an opportunity for power in every department of the CEOs life and without the correct attention to the list, there can be no right of passage for our hero or heroine. When your home life is a mess, your company will be a mess because you are a mess.

It is okay to tell your spouse that you must take a break, get to work and revisit the problems later today, but, you had better revisit those problems out of love and respect for the relationship, even if the best you can do is, “I love you but I don’t know what to do about these issues.”

May I also say, that it goes a long way when someone says, “I’m sorry for my big fat mouth.”

If you laughed out loud as you read that, you need to pick up the phone and exercise this very important suggestion.


The Balancing Act

So, how to manage your home life when your business is a mess? Be sensitive, cautious, exercise understanding and pray for wisdom because you are worthless when your home life is a mess.

If you are smart enough to fix it and prioritize this matter on your daily list, your bottom line will surely prosper.