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Cisco Survey Reveals Balance is Essential: Is work life balance really possible?

The Balance Question

For those of you who have checked out my presentation “Confessions of a Radical Collaborator”, you know that I love my job and I love my bike. Cycling for me is chance to get out of the office and move my body, feel the wind in my face, and really be a part of the outdoor experience. I feel strong riding up a hill and nothing but sheer exhilarating fun speeding down one! I’ve learned to trust my own momentum…physics really do work!

Riding a bike (like most things in life) is all about balance.

Remember when you first learned to ride a bike? We all do.

It's all about balance.

My father and mother owned a busy diner and just didn’t have time to teach me after school. They asked their cook and family friend, Sunny, to explain basic bike skills to me when the kitchen was slow. Sunny was patient and kind and when he took the training wheels off my pink, banana-seated, two-wheeler…I felt pretty confident.

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Counting Down to Cisco’s Collaboration Summit

In my hometown of Philadelphia, if you venture past Center City (“downtown” for you out-of-towners) you’ll see row after row of very narrow, fairly identical homes connected by a common wall. These “row houses” are unique to the city of brotherly love. I never really knew how narrow they were until my mother told me the story of her first experience with…aviation.

As small children, my mother and her brothers attempted to build an airplane that they dreamed of flying through their city neighborhood. They spent many nights in the basement of their row house in South Philly nailing together the body, the wings and the propellers. Finally, after months of hard work, it was ready. The three of them carefully carried it up the stairs with great anticipation…and could not get it through the slender doorframe. They retreated back down the stairs. With great disappointment they took it apart and reassembled it in the alley outside and began their imaginary flight exercises.

My mother and uncles may not have gotten off the runway but they learned a valuable lesson (funny how all my mother’s stories had a lesson)—before undertaking a major project, it always pays to understand the big picture and plan accordingly.

Planning for effective collaboration is much the same.

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