Work Life Effectiveness interview series: John Creighton
What does Work Life Effectiveness (“WLE”) mean to you?
WLE means being able to stay involved and engaged in the various parts of my life that are important to me. For me, that’s family activities with my wife and two high-school-age boys, including weekend dinners together, school events, vacations, and the like.
What is one strategy that helps you establish, maintain, and achieve WLE in your workday?
It’s a constant challenge. I start by trying to constrain client work to travel days (usually Monday through Thursday) while reserving Fridays for local marketing, brand-building, and other internal AlixPartners “stuff.”
What do you find the most challenging about being effective in both your work & family lives?
Managing expectations. Generally, we understand how quickly we need to address client requests. But the challenge is to estimate those timelines accurately, and then execute them efficiently to leave time for family commitments. Scheduling and keeping vacations on the calendar has also become more challenging as our kids’ schedules get busier. Adults aren’t the only ones with demanding schedules. Threading the needle with their classes, sports, and other activities to spend a week skiing in the mountains is only possible if I align with my kids’ breaks from school. That means setting expectations with clients and the team and then planning around my absence.
How has your approach on WLE evolved over the years?
My approach has evolved as our boys have grown up. They communicate with my wife and I more via email now, and we use calendars and “meeting” invitations to coordinate schedules. We’re also hosting the boys’ friends more often for activities, as those relationships are becoming more and more important in their lives.
If you had to give one piece of advice related to WLE to your younger self, what would it be?
Direct your energy into challenging projects where you enjoy both working with your colleagues and the projects themselves. Loving what you do helps get you through those bumps in the road, either personal or professional, that inevitably appear along the way.