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The Employee Experience: Tackling Work-Life Balance with Top Execs

Grace Cary
August 08, 2018

2 minute read

The SmarterCX team recently attended an Oracle Women’s Leadership (OWL) panel featuring co-authors Paula Brown Stafford and Lisa T. Grimes, who discussed their newly-published book, “Remember Who You Are: Achieve Success. Create Balance. Experience Fulfillment”. At the outset of this book’s creation, Paula and Lisa’s vision was that this would be a piece for women, primarily professionals who were attempting to balance careers and families.

It wasn’t until Bob Weiler, who met Paula in 2005, read a draft of the book did they consider this might not be exclusively for women. The final product features a foreword written by Bob, who is now Oracle’s EVP of Global Business Units. Offering the juxtaposing male and female perspectives at the beginning makes the stories accessible to anyone who has experienced the challenges of work-life balance (virtually everyone). Bob’s preface also serves as a reminder that stereotypes, gender roles, and assumptions are still prevalent in the workplace, particularly in male-dominated industries like tech. And with self-awareness, empathy, and respect, we can work to abolish these as threats to female success.

Both Paula and Lisa have forged impressive career paths; Paula with 30 years of experience in biopharmaceutical services and consulting, and Lisa with 32 years in executive management, sales, and business development roles. Based on their experiences, they shared key insights on effectively balancing career and personal life, including the following example based on Part II: The Juggling Act.

Imagine you are actually juggling, but not just balls or clubs — different objects of varying shapes, sizes, and weights. The things being tossed in the air are everything we try to manage between our families, personal lives, interests, and careers.

  • A Waterford Crystal Heart: This is the most important. It represents your most significant priorities. For the authors, it’s faith and family. If dropped, it would shatter into a thousand pieces and require extraordinary effort to piece back together.
  • Rubber Ball: If you drop this one, it will bounce right back up. It represents smaller, more trivial commitments. Buying a cake from the grocery store instead of making one, to use the authors’ example. These are things we ascribe meaning to on our own, but would otherwise go unnoticed by nearly anyone else.
  • Lead Ball: If you drop this one, you should leave it and never pick it up again. Toxic relationships, unnecessary guilt – these are lead balls. They weigh us down and take our concentration away from catching the things that are actually important.

For leaders who find themselves juggling priorities on a daily basis, the authors had this advice:

Mastering the juggling act requires knowing what our priorities are — what can fall on the floor and what needs to stay in the air. When our hands are full and there is simply too much to manage, be okay with not being able to do everything. Focus on what’s important and put a few things down.

For more information on inspiring leaders and women in technology, visit

Grace Cary
Grace Cary is a Jeopardy enthusiast, an avid concert-goer, and loves to stay active. Grace is a Digital Strategist at Oracle and focuses on Oracle’s CX and SMB social properties. by Oracle is the destination for professionals who are building the next generation of customer experience. Here, you can find breaking news, in-depth analyses, expert insights, and useful tools that will empower you to think and work progressively.