(Striking a Career and Personal Life Balance) Six Books to Consider Reading

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In my book “Eleven Leadership Tips For Supervisors,” I offer a number of helpful hints and follow up questions for the reader to reflex upon. “Who Am I” is the title of chapter three. Work environment, health, wellness, spiritual and other personal questions are raised. The last question in this chapter is “how are all these things affecting your leadership style and effectiveness?” I conclude the chapter by stating “leaders do their best if they are taking care of themselves.” Striking a balance between your personal and professional life is the key.

What influenced my decision to look for resources that could enhance a working professional’s life? In 1998, my wife and I were blessed with our first child. My career really began to take off a year later. Just like my mother, I am a natural caregiver. Family members on both sides of the family call upon me for advice and support. The excitement I had about a new baby daughter and increasing career opportunities was also mixed with some concern.

During my childhood, I witnessed a lot of sincere couples give up on having a healthy marriage relationship and/or a balanced life. Some of them settled for the general philosophy, “that is just the way the opposite sex behaves.” Other couples focused on their children to an extreme. These couples didn’t have anything in common after their children were grown. Others would hide behind work and other outside activities to stay away from home. I didn’t want to become one of those couples.

How was I going to successfully juggle all my responsibilities? Who could help me understand why my wife and I view money differently? Would our marriage relationship stay strong if we had another child in a year or two, so our first child had someone to play with? Was I supposed to be so concerned about spending quality time with my wife as well as my daughter? If so, why did most of the married people I know not share my concern? These were some of the many questions I began to ask myself.

Also, we had just purchased a reasonably priced home. Most of my life, I had been taught to go to church, graduate from college, save as much money as possible for a few years, get married and buy a nice home. Now all of this was accomplished. I began to hear all the normal “the rat race is so stressful” talk from people at church, family members and friends. This made me ask myself, ” Are you supposed to work real hard to be unhappily stuck in the rat race?”

I began to closely listen to numerous radio talk shows for assistance. After looking inside myself, I also started writing to express my own feelings. Below is a list of six books that are important for busy professionals to consider reading.


Difficult Conversations: How to Discuss What Matters Most – Douglas Stone, Bruce Patton and Shelia Heen – In a practical and detailed manner, this book helps you to understand the issues surrounding tense discussions. You will develop a better understanding of why disagreements happen and the dynamics involved. This book will assist you in your work and personal relationships.

His Needs, Her Needs by Dr. William F. Harley Jr. – Are you divorced, considering marriage or currently married? This book can assist any couple communicate better and prevent common relationship problems. If you have recently ended a relationship, you may desire how to give your next relationship a better chance. Dr. Harley’s web site www.marriagebuilders.com also offers a lot of helpful information.

Career / Leadership:

The 21 Indispensable Qualities of A Leader: Becoming the Person Others Will Want to Follow by Dr. John C. Maxwell - Dr. Maxwell offers clearly defined and timely advice for leaders. This resource is based on ethical leadership and other foundational truths. You may refer to this motivational and inspiring resource numerous times in your career.

Eleven Leadership Tips For Supervisors by Kenneth McGhee – In eleven short and clear meditations on the elements of leadership, Mr. McGhee shows you how to prepare for leadership by defining yourself, assessing your work environment, researching the history of your organization, understanding the subtle differences between management and leadership, and more.

Personal Finance:

Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki with Sharon L. Lechter CPA – Mr. Kiyosaki will challenge the way you look at life, education, business ownership and money in general. He discusses his own life and offers a lot of good advice. This book has the ability to motivate you to consider having your own business, and have money work for you vs. always working for money.

What Will I Do With My Money? by Ray Linder -
Mr. Linder is not another author offering an approach, based on his own personal opinions, to manage your money better. Instead, he explains why people view money differently. Twelve self-assessment quizzes can assist you discover “how your personality affects your financial behavior.”

Kenneth McGhee has worked in higher education administration since 1993. He is a graduate of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His current position is Senior Assistant Director of Student Financial Aid at Northern Illinois University. Part of his position responsibilities include supervising twelve full time employees, thirty part time employees and overseeing a $65 million dollar annual budget.

Since 1998, he has been a trainer in a state of Illinois program to inform college admissions and high school counselors about the financial aid process. For the 2002- 2003 academic year, he is serving on the Executive Board of the Illinois Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators as the Northern Regional Coordinator. The duties include overseeing the association’s Training and Professional Development, Diversity and Professional and Graduate Issues committees.

McGhee’s professional memberships include the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Illinois Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

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Kenneth McGhee is the author of Eleven Leadership Tips For Supervisors. This book is available online at www.booksurge.com and www.amazon.com. You may contact Kenneth at kmcghee@niu.edu.

(Striking a Career and Personal Life Balance) Six Books to Consider Reading
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