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Mastering the Art of Balance: Strategies for Combining Life's Roles

Life balance is a frequently used buzz phrase that carries different meanings depending on who you are. For those in or aspiring to management-level positions, life balance may not be about compartmentalizing one’s work and play, but rather intermingling them.

Around June 2021, Hòa Nguyễn noticed that there were a number of management coaches in Vietnam, some of whom didn’t have the practical experience to be trainers, especially for individual business and leadership roles. 

Hòa had accumulated a reservoir of experience from 15 years of working in management at various companies in the US and Vietnam. He identified a number of strategies that allowed him to not only find professional success but also personal growth and development.  

Hòa told Saigoneer that reflecting on the ways in which he was able to reach his goals inspired him to become a management coach in order to share knowledge and address a glaring leadership knowledge gap in Vietnam. He attributes the current shortcomings to a lack of professional exposure in the workplace and poor internship quality, among other factors. 

Improving the situation requires leadership skills. According to Hòa, those looking to lead their teams must be able to adapt to changes in their environments and master critical and strategic thinking while adhering to a clear vision.  

These are not easy tasks to accomplish and taking a few courses or reading some management strategy best sellers won’t suffice. There is no replacement for hands-on experience and the failures and successes that come along with it. Learning from mistakes and successes alike helps one to eventually find secure footing and confidence.  

But growing via encountering challenges is only one side of the coin. Hòa sees each person as a collection of different roles, both personal and professional: employee, leader, parent, sibling, friend, etc. He believes that managers and leaders must find a way to make the most of their finite time and this means identifying how these different roles can interact.  

Hòa shares that there’s very little that we can actually control and life will take us in unexpected directions. Rather than using our time and energy to pave our own paths with brute force, the goal should be to put ourselves in a position to create opportunities. We cannot will success into existence; it is often reaped by planting seeds, some of which will grow while others won’t.  

Networking events are an obvious place to build connections and relationships that lead to such opportunities, but Hòa advises that the best outcomes in such situations come when expectations are kept low. A trip to the batting cages, for example, with a friend or business partner is not only an easy way to unwind and get in some exercise but is also a great chance to expand your network. If you have kids, spending time with other families is likely to bring you into the orbit of people who have shared values that may or may not lead to an instant business benefit. Either way, you’ll never know but one must trust the process. 

Like growing a company or organization, this way of amassing connections is a long-term strategy. Those looking for instant gratification will be disappointed and liable to give up too soon.  

Hòa practices what he preaches. In addition to offering private coaching lessons, in his role at MomentumHospitality, he spends a great deal of time working with his staff to help develop their management skills. With each hire at his company, he’s already thinking about their ultimate trajectory within the organization and nurtures soft and hard skills to ensure they can reach their full potential. 

There are no sustainable shortcuts if your goals are to become a good leader and drive a business. Hòa cautions that such a life isn’t for everyone but those who strive to create a balance between business and personal pursuits can find fulfillment and happiness across the many roles that they play in their lives. For Hòa, he has found a balance between his positions as a CEO and coach, with each role benefiting the other, giving him the ability to empower those around him.