As a parent, the best thing that a pediatrician, teacher or coach can say to me is, "Your child is thriving." And as a leader, I aspire to help my teammates and the company to thrive. Interestingly, the definitions for "thrive" provided by Siri and are significantly different: Siri - "to be at a high point in one's career"; - "to grow and develop vigorously." For me, thriving isn't a milestone; it's more of a mantra.

As I begin planning for a long weekend, I can't help but wonder how I can be more deliberate and disciplined about recharging my batteries, giving time and attention to the things that are important to me and leading by example. Much has been written about work-life balance, and more recently, work-life harmony.  Balance and harmony sound nice, but I want to thrive!

The Struggle Is Real

Truly nurturing all the dimensions that bring you joy, meaning and purpose is not easy. Many of the most accomplished leaders struggle with it, and we've recently heard from both Elon Musk and Serena Williams about their journeys. Musk, a talented business leader and fierce competitor, tearfully recounted how he nearly missed his brother's wedding because he couldn't pull himself away from work. While I respect his vision, tenacity and acumen, the interview was a stark reminder to keep the main thing the main thing...and the main thing is not always work.

Shortly after reading the Musk interview, I came across an article about Serena Williams. Full disclosure: I love sports, both playing and watching! Everything about sports speaks to me: teamwork, hard work, competition and tenacity. Williams is not only one of the world's best athletes but also a national hero and role model. Nothing has been easy for her, and motherhood comes with a brand new set of challenges. She is inarguably a naturally gifted athlete, but those gifts didn't propel her to the top without dedicating a lot of time to growing, polishing and perfecting them. As any parent can attest, children aren't born with an understanding that you have needs independent of their own. While expectations and predictions of Williams' performance at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open ebb and flow, she has been very clear that her priorities have shifted. Attending to her child is not optional. Her regimented schedule had to become more agile. For Serena Williams, it's not a matter of either/or but rather reorganizing and reassessing her priorities.

Be Your Best You

I don't aspire to be Elon Musk or Serena Williams. I just want to be the best version of myself. Reading those articles reminded me of two valuable lessons: I can't be good at anything unless I take care of myself, and taking care of myself requires dedicating quality time to the things that make me happy and whole.

As we take weekends to recharge and rest, perhaps we should also seize the opportunity to reassess our priorities and allocation of time. Our lives are constantly changing. Musk and Williams poignantly captured that. I know that I've certainly changed over the years. I've wanted to inspire like Mandela, perform like Garth and be like Mike. And now, I want to thrive like Serena.