The roles we play and our dedication to each should reflect what matters to us as individuals. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. More often than not, we find we are playing roles we did not select for ourselves; or over time, our roles and what matters to us change. Perhaps of greater significance is that many of us incrementally add roles without taking into consideration the competing demands of our existing commitments. It is so easy to say yes to innocuous requests, such as serving on the church’s budget committee or mentoring a new hire. No matter the cause, the result is the same: a life where we subjugate roles that matter to those that matter less. MBA students often find themselves in this situation while concurrently pursuing their MBA degree, managing their career, and being supportive of their family. Proactively managing the roles one plays can help avoid this situation. Doing so starts by knowing what roles you are currently playing in your life.
The Roles We Play
Roles are the usual or expected functions of life, which, in turn, outline what we expect of ourselves. Some are more central to our lives than others; and as such, we can more easily identify them. Some examples include teacher, parent, spouse, employee, student, and manager. Identifying other roles is more difficult because we do not think of them as roles. Examples include son or daughter, homemaker, church member and friend. Your list of roles should begin with the current roles you are playing. You can easily start your list by answering the following questions (Ditzler 121):
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