Work Life Effectiveness interview series: Ted Bililies
Our Work Life Effectiveness (WLE) interview series features AlixPartners professionals across the world discussing successful strategies for facilitating their own work life effectiveness.
Ted Bililies, Chief Talent Officer and Global Community Leader, Corporate Development Office, shares his approach to being effective in both his work and family life.
What does Work Life Effectiveness (“WLE”) mean to you?
Work life effectiveness means living a balanced and healthy life – many meaningful activities in balance and moderation. As a clinical psychologist, I know the health research literature well on the physical, emotional, and psychological benefits of WLE.
What is one strategy that helps you establish, maintain, and achieve WLE in your workday?
There is growing pressure on all us, from our profession and enabled by technology, to try and do multiple tasks at once, or at least to rush through several sequentially at a time. I try to remain conscious of staying in the present moment, to focus on one task at a time, and to resist the temptation of thinking about the future, or replaying the past. It’s hard, and I am far, far from perfect. I have practiced mindfulness meditation for many years, and it helps me to stay focused and not drift into unproductive preoccupations; this practice lowers stress and helps me produce a better work product.
What do you find the most challenging about being effective in both your work & family lives?
Blocking off family time and not taking calls or responding to work emails on the weekend is my biggest challenge. I try and make family time special and free of any work commitments. I try to be fully present with my family when I am home, and I am constantly working on my listening skills.
At what point in your career did you realize that WLE actually improves your performance in the workplace?
Fairly late, unfortunately! Having a teenager who is very articulate about how much she values our time together really motivates me to try and keep a better balance.
How has your approach on WLE evolved over the years?
I’d say I didn’t really have much WLE throughout much of my career. I love my work and I would let it consume too much time. Having a family however has been really helpful in getting me to strive for a better balance.
How do you ensure your teams are achieving WLE?
I make sure that PTO is always honored for team members. We have such committed people in Organization & Transformative Leadership, that they are frequently emailing or texting while they are supposed to be relaxing. I’ll push back on them in a humorous way, and let them know they aren’t expected to be working. Given our committed people, it doesn’t always work though!
If you had to give one piece of advice related to WLE to your younger self, what would it be?
Start now! Develop more hobbies, meditate more often, spend time with friends. As a psychologist, I know that quality “down time” actually makes us better professionals and healthier humans.
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