Kellie Richter, Senior VP of Marketing at Behringer, recalls how her childhood memories of service have driven her to serve others through work.
By Kellie Richter
My earliest childhood memories include serving others. As a family, we supported our community through meal delivery, visiting and performing for the elderly, volunteering at and through our church, and helping out at school. My parents taught my three siblings and me that no matter how busy you are, you should always make timeto serve others. They always led by example with a belief that “the things you do for yourself will end when you are gone, while the things you do for others will endure.”
As an adult, I pursued an advanced degree, progressed in my career, added a husband and two sons to my family, expanded my involvement in professional organizations and industry associations, made new friends while keeping many old friends, and increased my commitment to health and fitness, while making certain there was still time to serve others. As a way of giving back, I have been mentoring young men and women with personal challenges for more than 10 years.
Hands-down the most common question I have from each one is, “How do you achieve work-life balance?” My response is always the same: Not unlike an investment allocation in your financial portfolio, balance is not about achieving equal weighting to every area of your life, such as work, family, friends, health, spiritual and service. Instead, as your life’s priorities and goals can shift and change, so should your resource allocations change to achieve that balance. Achieving balance is about making sure that you can dedicate quality time and effort to those priorities rather than concerning yourself with allocating equal time to each of them.
Over the years, I discovered that the lines between priorities can be blurred so that work and service can be integrated, family and service can be integrated, and even fitness and service can be integrated. Instead of defining discrete areas of my life that compete for my attention, each area gets a share of my focus and energy. In addition, through service, I have gained some of my most valuable insights and experiences while meeting the most interesting people.
When looking at the work-life balance equation in terms of allocations within a pie, carving out specific time to serve looks mathematically impossible. Instead, I have learned to consider service as a key ingredient of each slice of that pie so that within each component, the fulfillment gained in the process ensures that balance can be achieved with exponential results.
Kellie Richter is Senior Vice President of Marketing at Dallas-based Behringer. She was featured in Issue No. 12 of Forefront magazine.
Kellie is also Board Secretary of The Board Connection, a nonprofit organization founded to increase the number of women serving on corporate boards through programs designed to develop, influence, and connect credentialed women with board governance opportunities.
Behringer Harvard is a commercial real estate company investing in assets domestically and internationally.
Latest posts by Kellie Richter (see all)
- New Year’s reSOLUTIONS: Treasured Family Moments - December 19, 2014
- Service as a Key Ingredient in the Pie of Success - September 6, 2014
- Professional Pointers From Your Kids: Service as a Key Ingredient in the Pie of Success - August 13, 2014