Assessments, Business Consulting, Sales & Marketing, Retreats, Speaking

Expert in Performance & Profitability

Expert in Performance & Profitability

Assessments, Business Consulting, Sales & Marketing, Retreats, Speaking



P.O. Box 41236
Tucson, AZ 85717
520.795.7556 (FAX)

Contact Sharon


"Sharon is that rare individual - extremely intelligent and multi-talented,"
-- Hussein Kamel, PhD, Computer Structural Analysis, Professor Emeritus, University of Arizona

"I can say we would not have accomplished our goals without your assistance."
-- Chester Teaford, HDR, Inc.,
formerly, V.P., Michael Baker Jr., Inc.




Articles for Entrepreneurs

While Chasing Success, Executives Often Lose Balance

Years ago, I walked into the office of the man who would become my first client on a cold December day at 2:30 in the afternoon.  There I was, anxious to secure my first client, sitting in his well appointed reception area for 20 minutes.  I was just getting ready to leave when Judy, his assistant appeared and said, “Mr. Burton will see you now.”  His spacious office was an extension of the waiting room with the addition of an expensive southwestern motif sculpture by Louis Jimenez.  He had all the trappings of success including at least 50 pounds excess weight and the red face to go with it.  Still, he was an imposing man and at 52, wealthy, successful and admired by many in his community.  At 57, he was dead. If he had died of a heart attack no one would have been surprised.  But a heart attack was not the cause of death.

In the years I knew him, he was not energized in his work, his marriage was “on the rocks”, and his children estranged from him.  I worked with him as a consultant off and on for those five years and I knew him well.  The official word was that Bill Burton died in “an accident”.  But knowing him as well as I did, I believe his life was so out of balance that it was no accident.

We worked together to improve profitability in his company, relationships amongst the executives, project delivery and other organizational development issues– by his standards and mine at the time, the work was a great success.

I didn’t see my role as one of working with him on personal balance.  His death changed my view – I now include the evaluation of lifestyle balance of every executive I work with.  Lifestyle balance is right up there in importance with more traditional leadership and organizational development interventions. The idea that “success is whatever success means to you” is just one of those exhausted platitudes that have no meaning in reality.  My extensive work with CEOs, entrepreneurs and other executives teaches me that leadership is the most crucial element in any organization and there cannot be effective long term leadership without lifestyle balance.

 Have you ever known anyone who at the end of their life regretted that they didn’t spend more time working and striving , i.e. more time being unbalanced and ignoring other parts of their life?  The challenge is – how do you educate the executives you work with to understand this importance and to do something about it? I’ve found there are three things that all hard driving executives - including you and I - have to address:

1.      Understanding what you want in life.

2.      Identifying and analyzing the gap between what you want and what you have.

3.      Developing a plan of specific steps to take to achieve what you want.

This simple process along with coaching support has improved the leadership productivity of many of my client firms, made their firms more profitable, and enhanced their work and personal life.

I have an opinion but I can’t know if improving his lifestyle balance would have helped Bill Burton.  I do know that the gap between what he wanted in his life and what he had became so unbearable that all of his monetary and apparent “success” was not enough.

© 2009 Sharon A. Youngblood. All rights reserved.




Youngblood Consulting, Inc.
P.O. Box 41236Tucson, AZ 85717







© 2009 Youngblood Consulting Inc.