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Discover Your True North by Bill George

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8Integrated Life

The world will shape you if you let it. To live the life you desire, you must make conscious choices.

—John Donahoe, CEO, eBay

Successful leaders live complex and demanding lives. As the frequency of communication has intensified, the pace of business has increased. Yet many of us have not learned how to deal with this new reality. There is never enough time to do everything you want to do, because the world around you makes ever greater demands on your time. Nor will you be able to achieve a perfect balance between all aspects of your life—your career, family, friends and community, and personal life. Inevitably, you will have to make trade-offs. How you do so will determine how fulfilling your life will be.

Authentic leaders are constantly aware of the importance of staying grounded. In doing so, they avoid getting too cocky during high points and forgetting who they are during low points. Spending time with their families and close friends, getting physical exercise, having spiritual practices, doing community service, and returning to places where they grew up are all ways they stay grounded. This grounding is essential to their effectiveness as leaders because it enables them to preserve their authenticity.

To avoid letting endless professional commitments dominate their time, authentic leaders must give priority to their families and take care of themselves personally, in terms of their health, recreation, spirituality, and introspection. There is no ...

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