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Their stories and advice reflect five main themes: defining success for yourself, managing technology, building support networks at work and at home, traveling or relocating selectively, and collaborating with your partner.When you are leading a major project, you determine early on what a win should look like.The same principle applies to leading a deliberate life: You have to define what success means to you—understanding, of course, that your definition will evolve over time.Executives’ definitions of professional and personal success run a gamut from the tactical to the conceptual (see the exhibit “How Leaders Define Work/Life ‘Wins’”).“The 10 minutes I give my kids at night is one million times greater than spending that 10 minutes at work,” one interviewee said.It’s difficult to imagine a woman congratulating herself for spending 10 minutes a day with her children, but a man may consider the same behavior exemplary.Senior executives have discovered through hard experience that prospering at their level is a matter of carefully combining work and home so as not to lose themselves, their loved ones, or their foothold on success.

The survey responses consisted of short phrases and lists, but in the interviews executives often defined personal success by telling a story or describing an ideal self or moment in time.

A lower percentage of women than of men list financial achievement as an aspect of personal or professional success.

Rewarding relationships are by far the most common element of personal success for both sexes, but men list merely having a family as an indicator of success, whereas women describe what a good family life looks like to them.

But by making deliberate choices about which opportunities they’ll pursue and which they’ll decline, rather than simply reacting to emergencies, leaders can and do engage meaningfully with work, family, and community.

They’ve discovered through hard experience that prospering in the senior ranks is a matter of carefully combining work and home so as not to lose themselves, their loved ones, or their foothold on success.

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