Overly Loving Father, Rob Lowe #WorkHuman

By now you’ve seen all the DirectTV ads featuring the funny characters of Rob Lowe. My favorite is super creepy Rob Lowe! I’m at Globoforce’s WorkHuman event this week and got to see Rob Lowe keynote this event.

When my friend, Laurie Ruettimann, told me Rob was keynoting she was really excited, and I was like, okay.  I’m a dude, I don’t really get the fascination. I mean I’ve liked some of his movies and TV shows, but not overly so (one of my favs is Youngblood, because as a teen I was in love with Cynthia Gibb – don’t judge me it was the 80’s!).  So, I was interested in seeing Rob speak, but it wasn’t one of bucket-list must sees!

Before I got to WorkHuman, though, I purchased Rob’s latest book. It was an impulse buy. I was going on vacation, needed something to read on the beach and just had heard he was going to be speaking at this event.  Rob also had a great story to share about his oldest son going off to college, just as my oldest son is graduating and going off to college.  Slate did a great piece on it, you can read here.

It felt like his story was my story. The great thing about Rob is he’s a great storyteller and I like storytellers!

To me Rob Lowe gets the concept of work-life balance better than most.  Here’s a guy who because of a famous celebrity career couldn’t have normal work-life balance like we think of it for most of us.  But that’s what I really like, there isn’t any normal work-life balance. Working 9-5, Monday through Friday is a myth.  It’s not the way the majority of the world works anymore.

It’s a concept from the 1950s and 40s that just is no longer relevant.

Rob taught us, through his own experience, that you can find balance, but it has to be a balance that you define.  Rightly so, it’s all that really matters, but we struggle with this as leaders and HR pros. We want to define work-life balance in one context, and make all of our employees fit into this little paragraph. It’s just not reality.

You work the way you need to work to live the lifestyle you decide to you want to live, then you live your life around that the best you can.  It’s not always going to be perfect. Again, that’s life. I would rather show my sons that life isn’t perfect, that sometimes work is great, sometimes work sucks, but so is your personal life!  The balance comes from knowing when it’s time to work and when it’s time to focus on other parts of your life. Do too much of either, and you’re out of balance.

I know a bunch of people who don’t get this from the personal aspect.  They want their balance to be all about their personal life, and not about work. Which is fine, but you then have to understand you then need to lead the personal life that not focusing on work affords you.

I’m glad I got to see Rob speak at WorkHuman. I’m now more of a fan, because despite his celebrity he seems like a guy who gets it.


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