Career & family is also about the team and not the individual. The career-family lifestyle is a rewarding one, but a very demanding one nonetheless. To truly enjoy the benefits, you’ve got to embrace the team. Don’t be a control freak. Let others participate and contribute. Make sure your kids chip in. Give your other half the chance to do things his way when he’s in charge of the kids. For sure he’ll do things differently, but there’s no absolute right or wrong way, and your kids will benefit from a fresh perspective, and seeing you and your other half work in partnership.
When I was in graduate school full time, my other half was often in charge of the family on Saturdays as I took refuge in the library for the day. On my return, the house would be a complete mess, but the kids were happy – and isn’t that what’s important? While I was away, the family focused on having fun (although I’m sure the kids needed to be “guided” now and then). Forget about the mess. Focus on the important things in life.
Secondly, soccer (as a team sport) is about being humble and modest. Spain’s winning goal was kicked in by Andres Iniesta during extra time. His stardom, however, lies in his passing record and his down-to-earth demeanor. He’s competed at the highest level in his sport, yet looks like just a normal guy on the streets of Barcelona.
In fact, in Spain he was once mistaken for a waiter while out dining and a customer proceeded to give him her order. Was his ego insulted? One the contrary, he walked back to the kitchen and passed the order onto the chef. I maintain that it’s this spirit of the team and the humbleness of the individual players that enabled Spain to win the World Cup.
Modesty also has its place in the career-family spectrum. As you build your career you’ll take on more and more responsibility. You’ll be in charge of more and more people. When you’re at home your kids will bring you back down to earth.
You’re just “Mom” or “Dad” to them – professional successes are irrelevant. Don’t forget your roots and your humility. Humility is of course an asset in the workplace as well. People like to be treated as equals, as humans, and enjoy working in a team, rather than working for a tyrant.
The next World Cup is now four years away. Don’t wait that long to remember to be the best team player you can be and remain humble in the process.
Congratulations Spain, congratulations Ineista and congratulations to all of you building strong teams and humble individuals in your personal as well as your professional lives.