Marriage And Performance Review

It has been said that “Personal life should never impact your work life”. This is the greatest lie. Nothing is further from the truth. Over my long work life I have seen that impact in the performance of many leaders I worked with and worked for including clients I am working with right now.

For me personally, my wife has been a source of strength and confidence that I could not get anywhere else. We have been married for more than 45 years. A compromised relationship with her drains me out of physical and emotional energy like nothing else I can think of. I could have a day full of work fights and hassles with little emotional impact but one serious conflict with my wife and best friend leaves me feeling defeated and spent out.

Like most, when I entered into marriage years ago I did not know what to expect. The one thing I knew and wanted was my wife’s friendship. Before we were married my wife was my friend. Throughout my long career and still today her friendship is very important to me. Regretfully, in our overloaded, busy lives today the cornerstones of such friendship are often neglected leading to compromised marriages which impact business performance. Leaders take note.


Mike Hyatt is the successful Chairman of one of the largest publishing empires. In his blog, “How to Become Your Spouse’s Best Friend”, he offers the following three tips:

  1. Make a list of what you would want in a best friend. If you were going to advertise on Craig’s List for a best friend, what would the ad look like?
  2. Now become that person for your spouse. That’s right. Turn the table. Make this a list of the kind of friends you will become. I can promise you this: anyone who does half of these kinds of things will have more friends than he or she knows what to do with. But what if you focused this effort on your spouse? Think of the possibilities.
  3. Keep sowing the seeds, until the relationship blossoms. How long will it take to create this kind of relationship? It all depends on where you are starting. For some, it might be several months. For others, it might take years. Friendships are like gardens; they must be cultivated. The key is to be consistent and persistent—without expectations.

This is really nothing more than the application of the Golden Rule to marriage: “Do to others what you would want them to do to you” (Luke 6:31).

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