Profs Book Focuses on 'Balance'


The number one problem mentioned by upper middle level managers and executives worldwide is balancing work, family and self, writes Darden Professor James G. Clawson, in his new book, Balancing Your Life.

According to Clawson, today's modern executives feel pulled in many directions, and too often, health and relationships suffer.  How then do successful executives balance their lives?  The first three chapters of the book describe models for being attentive to the various aspects of life - physical, mental, social, at any one time; the unfolding phases of life; and the definition of success. 

The book then presents sixteen cases describing how executives manage not only their professional responsibilities but also their health, their relationships, their time, energy, and schedules.  The goal of these cases is to get behind the scenes and see more clearly the support structures that help productive executives do what they do in the world of business affairs. Each case ends with a series of questions designed to help readers assess and then connect the case subject's story with their own.

“Balancing Your Life provides an opportunity to look at the research on how people structure their lives over time and then to showcase these “whole life” views of a dozen extraordinary executives without interpretation,” says Clawson. “Since my first case on the former CEO of Puget Sound Power and Life, I’ve written some fifteen similar cases about men and women from around the world and from many different industries,” he says.

The book ends with a summary chapter and guidance for readers on how to take control of their lives and build the kind of life-balancing structure they want.  Clawson says that the readers can “enjoy the stories, engage the theory as they wish, and draw their own conclusions about how highly successful executives are able to achieve what they achieve. One clear element is how much these people devote to their professional lives.  It’s difficult to have it “all.”  The stories in the book represent people who’ve done extraordinary things in business—and often paid a price in the other aspects of their lives.”

Founded in 1955, the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business improves society by developing principled leaders in the world of practical affairs.

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