It’s The Right Thing To Do

It doesn’t make sense to have to do the wrong thing in order to do the right thing – Jim DeMint

I spoke recently at an IWD Conference about my approach to Life Design, how it impacts on Employee Engagement and Happiness; and in particular how I expected, with my permission those under my care to take accountability for the design of their Life.

It involved each of them a 2 week “Life Audit” where every second, minute and hour over that time was categorised in the following 4 areas:



Family & Friends


Upon completing the audit I asked them to look forward 12 months to imagine a more balanced Life and set a goal for each of the non-work related areas.

These goals were then added into their annual performance plans and each assigned a 5% loading towards their year end bonus. Yes that’s correct non-work related goals in a performance plan with a financial incentive attached.

My thinking was that a Human with a better awareness of Life Design would be happier and therefore more productive across all facets of their life.  This is supported by research by Happiness Expert Shawn Anchor that happy and engaged employees increased sales by 37%, productivity by 31%, and accuracy on tasks by 19%.

All were then assigned a “Balance Buddy” and each fortnight they checked in and held each other accountable to their non-work related goals. Each month they would check in with me to give me an update on their progress.

It’s not groundbreaking stuff I know however it was a question that I was asked after speaking that surprised me:

How did you get permission to do this from senior management?

My answer was that I didn’t seek or get permission to do this; I did it because it was the right thing to do.


Many Managers face an increasing dilemma in the many roles that they play every second, minute and hour of each day. There is a tension between doing what I’m told and doing what is right. Sometimes doing what I’m told is the right thing to do.  Sometimes it isn’t. Sometimes what I’m told to do may not be what my Manager really wants me to do. Given our human instinct to survive, to feel safe and secure the easy option is to do what I’m told even though at times it doesn’t feel right.

It is hard to do what is right when you are unsure of the personal risk and reward that will come with it.

Why not take a deep breath today, pluck up some courage, hold your nerve and do something today that is the right thing to do.