I was recently at an event with a panel of highly successful leaders who each shared three of their most important leadership lessons from their unique business and career journeys. Going into an event like this I expected to hear the lessons they have learned along the way to having such amazing success to be strictly career/business related, especially when they could only share three!

What surprised everyone was that of the four leaders, three shared the same lesson, and it isn’t what you would think. They also each stressed that it was THE most important lesson to them.

What was this important lesson?! It isn’t worth it to neglect your spouse/partner and children to build a successful business and career. Each of these leaders had built very successful multi-million dollar businesses over the years and each of them had unfortunately done what many leaders struggle with, they put their business success before their family and ALL came to regret it deeply.

One of the leaders had gotten so wrapped up in making his business and career a success that his spouse had taken the kids and left him, giving him the ultimate wake-up call. He attested that he was extremely blessed that over time he was able to mend his marriage and relationship with his children. Another one of the leaders wasn’t so successful with that and ended up breaking up with his spouse and deeply regretted it.

Work/life balance is one of the things that leaders understandably struggle with most. It is hard to have success in your business and career with the time that it takes and also give the time needed to the relationships with your loved ones. Hearing these leaders stress the importance of it made all of us think. IS it actually possible?!

The good news is these leaders all said that looking back, it would have been possible for them to be successful in both their personal and professional lives. The key is to put the effort in and be deliberate about it. You have to be conscious of it every day and in the end, you may not be as successful in your professional life but that’s ok. Did you read that last part? That’s OK! Because in the long run, family is what is most important and what will always be with you, it is lasting.

So what are you prioritizing in your life? Are you putting the effort in to make time and space for your spouse/partner and kids? Or are you allowing your professional success to be at the forefront of your life and take away from the ones that you love most?

It’s not an easy balance and it will never be perfect. But as these leaders attested to, it is so important and something you will only regret if you allow your family to fall by the wayside to your business and career. Don’t learn this lesson the hard way! Take the time to really dig deep about this and make changes if needed. You and those you love most won’t regret it!

At LeaderImpact, we believe that to be truly successful as a leader, there needs to be a balance between your personal, professional and spiritual life. If you would like to know more about this, check out one of our LeaderImpact Groups.