The Balance Myth: Rethinking Work/Life Success

— book review by Kristi Hughes

Teresa Taylor snuck home one workday at lunch to surprise her nanny. The music was blaring; the nanny was cooking while on her cell phone. Teresa’s infant son was asleep in a swing, with swollen eyes from crying, lying in a soiled diaper. Teresa fired her nanny on the spot but she was due back at work. Her son needed her but so did her coworkers.

More after the jump.
Taylor, a working mom who, after years of feeling like she was always failing someone — coworkers, kids, husband or friends, finally uncovered the simple truth: she would never achieve the mythical thing called ‘balance’ for which so many women (and men) spend their adult lives searching. In fact, searching for it only creates failure, disappointment and frustration. Thus, Taylor conceived the new book The Balance Myth: Rethinking Work-Life Success.

Taylor is a nationally recognized telecom executive who teaches integrity, focus, and vision, to working women everywhere in her new book. Part memoir, part guide and part inspiration, The Balance Myth provides unique yet palpable solutions for women to simplify the complexities of a modern professional lifestyle-from parenting and married life to travel, friendship and business and more.

Each chapter includes intimate personal stories — from accepting suicide, to struggling with infertility, to the responsibility that comes with top-level government clearances – which will both inspire and provoke readers to successfully navigate their own overwhelming, personal and professional challenges.

“You can’t control everything that happens to you, but you can control how you react,” says Taylor. “By leaving behind the frustrating and useless idea of work-life balance, women can begin making positive work-life decisions.”.”

The Balance Myth explains that one really can’t have success in one area of their life without having success in the others. Women should abandon any feelings of ‘mommy guilt’ and start feeling ‘in power’ both inside the home and at the office. It suggests that life is all about creating alternatives, options, and backup plans, and it’s about asking for help. Further, The Balance Myth teaches women to respect, appreciate, and recognize their own professional AND personal accomplishments. Taylor has concluded that you can’t take the mother out of the career woman or the career out of the mother, and suggest that women use both to their advantage. The Balance Myth also includes the following themes:

  • Advice on overcoming adversity in the workplace
  • Time management because you are never off the clock
  • It’s impossible to live one life with two calendars
  • How to avoid daycare failure
  • How to implement a successful ‘layer’ system
  • How to manage a mommy meltdown
  • That you don’t have to be the smartest person in the room
  • The privileges of leadership as a mommy and an executive

Teresa Taylor serves on the board of directors for First Interstate BancSystem, Inc., a financial services holding company with $7.3 billion in assets, as well as the board of directors for NiSource, Inc., a Fortune 500 natural gas and electricity storage and transmission company. Additionally, Taylor is an executive adviser to Governor John Hickenlooper and serves on the Colorado Economic Development Commission. She also serves on the Global Leadership Council for Colorado State University’s College of Business and is a member of the Board of Directors for the Colorado Technology Association.

Previously, Ms Taylor was the COO at Qwest, a $12 billion telecommunications and media company, where she held numerous executive positions spanning a successful 23-year tenure. Taylor has been featured in a number of national business publications, including the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She is sought after as a speaker on topics including leadership, economic development, and innovation. She resides in Golden, Colorado, with her husband. She has two grown sons.

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