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Is work-life balance a myth? CEOs share their thoughts

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I don’t believe that finding a work-life balance is a myth, but it is something you always have to work on. I believe that our lives can be categorized into four boxes of equal size: beliefs, education, family and work. In the center of these boxes is a circle, which is equally distributed, and represents balance. At different times, the position of the circle can fluctuate into certain boxes reflecting an imbalance, which is fine on a temporary basis, but we should focus on getting the circle back to center as often as possible. At Community Care Plan, we try to keep cognizant of this balance and as appropriate, we’ll send staff home to help them achieve that balance.

John Benz, president, CEO, Community Care Plan


Finding the perfect balance in life is nearly impossible. Being extremely goal driven, work is extremely motivating. My work has allowed me to do some things which I never believed possible. With that being said, I have always tried to be at all special events for our children and our entire family. Managing one’s time is extremely important to be able to spend quality family time.

Armando Caceres, CEO, founder, All Florida Paper


I like to strive for balance in a more fluid way. There are times when my personal life demands more of my time and times when my work life gets busy, like when I’m in trial. You have to have a strong support system.

Kelly-Ann Cartwright, executive partner, Holland & Knight Miami chair of the firm’s Directors Committee


Definitely not a myth. A career, though important and fulfilling, is ultimately just the means by which we provide for those who are most important to us. By the same token, the ability to provide is dependent upon one’s professional success. The balance is struck when you find yourself giving equal importance to attending your child’s soccer games as to meeting with a new client.

Ralph De La Rosa, president, CEO, Imperial Freight


I enjoy traveling to maintain a balance. I also recently started trying to have breakfast in the morning. Does that count?

Jalal Farooq, principal, Al-Farooq Corporation


Living in this community, I do maintain a healthy work-life balance as Miami thrives on the quality of life. I have been exploring and enjoying not only the weather but the many cultural and recreational activities this city has to offer. No wonder Miami has been ranked No. 1 in Healthy Lifestyle Choices by and No. 1 Happiest Cities to Work by Forbes.

Michael A. “Mike” Finney, president, CEO, Miami-Dade Beacon Council


Rather than creating a false dichotomy between work and life, I believe that we should all search for work that we find fulfilling and allows us to add value to our lives instead of viewing a job as just a way to earn compensation.

Dr. Julio Frenk, president, University of Miami


I think part of the work-life balance involves doing something you love. For me, work is almost like a hobby I enjoy it so much. It is also important to find a partner willing to support you in order to find that middle ground.

Kaizad Hansotia, founder, CEO, Gurkha Cigars


Most of the time, I’m not very good at disconnecting. For me, it’s as simple as a cigar in the evening or a weekend round of golf with my boys.

Javier Holtz, chairman, CEO, Marquis Bank


When running a business, finding a middle ground is always a challenge. Both sides are demanding. I think the most important thing is to be present. Allow your mind to be where you are and not off thinking of other things. Then you can focus on quality not quantity.

Camilo Miguel Jr., founder, CEO, Mast Capital


Life balance is a necessity and work is one part of that balance. It is an important pillar of Imalac’s foundation and one we plan to express clearly to future employees.

Noreen Sablotsky, founder, CEO, Imalac


It is important that we all include time for fun activities and exercise in our schedules so we do not get burned out. I typically exercise early in the morning and make time for at least 2-3 Pilates classes each week. But, being in a not-for-profit business, the wheel never seems to stop. It is important to always look for new investors to bring in with fresh ideas. Most every night, several important events are happening in Miami, so to accomplish my goals, I need to be visible and network.

Deborah Spiegelman, CEO, Miami Children’s Museum


I don’t believe work-life balance is a myth, although I do think it is an ongoing struggle. Whether you look at it as an employer or an individual, balance is critical to achieving sustained positive energy and results. I want to see the people I work with as energized about their lives outside of work as they are passionate about what we do here. In the workplace, I like to surround myself with leaders who value balance as much as I do, and who are willing to connect both sides of their life openly. This serves as inspiration and encourages us all to promote non-work pursuits — amongst ourselves and our organization. I think of it as encouraging peer pressure for work-life balance. Sometimes the pressure is to encourage more balance, sometimes the pressure is to ramp the needs of the organization. There are times when one part of our life simply requires more of us, and that’s okay. The key is to pay attention and learn how to normalize as soon as you can.

Steve Upshaw, CEO, Cross Country Home Services


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