We had the good fortune of connecting with Andrew Geesbreght and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Andrew, have there been any changes in how you think about work-life balance?
I believe the metaphor for work-life balance is deeply flawed. We are not playground equipment! When we are forced to choose between work and “the rest” of our life, we are faced with a false choice. It is this choice that supports the perpetual “tittering” between who we are and what we do. Work-life balance is essentially a suggestion for how to combat stress. We rarely use this term outside of someone feeling overwhelmed and burned out. People who feel content, motivated, and energetic, don’t need this term. But is balance what they have achieved? I say no. I think what they have achieved is congruence with their aspirational priorities. This isn’t balance, it’s more similar to “wholeness” – A state of completion of the human soul that comes from psychological awareness, self-knowledge, self-acceptance, and Self-acceptance.

I have presented this idea before and it’s been met with resistance. People have said, are you saying I am not being overworked? I say I have no idea! You might be, and you may need to work less to achieve a more content state. But working less implies you know the problem you are solving. If you are unsatisfied because you don’t see your kids enough, working less won’t solve that. Just because you are out of work doesn’t mean you’ll be connecting with your kids. You could be getting a margarita with friends, on vacation without them, in the gym, or playing golf – none of which involve connection with your kids. This is why understanding and living your values is so essential. And why it solves the root problems of discontent, We aren’t solving for work-life balance, we are trying to live a meaningful LIFE. Period. Work is just a part of it, unless we make it the only part. So finding out what is actually important to you is the most efficient way to align your actions and feel more satisfied. That actually might be working all the time, but its probably not.

What should our readers know about your business?
The chapters of my professional background go like this…

chapter 1 – came out of college with no discernable skills and I fell into a recruiting job. Made 50 phone calls a day and learned I needed to have creative mastery over my work to eventually feel fulfilled. (2003-2007)

chapter 2 – my brother asked me to join a small medical scribe company and recruit for them. I joined in 2008 with less than 10 employees and began working to scale the business. In 2014, as COO and close to 4K employees, we sold to our largest client. That 6-year period was some of the most rewarding and stimulating moments of my professional life. (2008-2014)

chapter 3 – after the sale in 2014, I stayed on as COO and then was made President in 2016. This role demanded strategic focus on what our PE partner desired, while leading our service line of operators. In 3 short years we more than doubled our revenue. In 2018 our commercial value became too strong to ignore and we were “spun off” to a competitor by the firm who acquired us. (2015-2018)

chapter 4 – this became the most challenging period of my growth, working for a new firm after envisioning a very different pathway for my career. After a painful separation only after 9 months of working for the new firm, it was several months later then that I realized the gift that was given. The adversity created the new opportunity to create. (2018-19)

chapter 5 – I asked myself how I wanted to spend my professional time and what passions and talents did I want to bring? I went back to school to get my Masters in Psychology and then launched PRAX Leadership. PRAX is the Latin root of “praxis” which means to practice, I now get to do everyday what I dreamed of contributing…working on company culture, but doing it through supporting individual leadership growth. Culture is the most powerful thing in a business and you can’t see it. We believe it is people that drive culture (not posters on the wall). But, the aspects of people that drive culture are what’s fascinating. What drives company culture, a leaders technical skill (what they do) or their intangibles (who they are)? We aren”t cultivating a person’s technical skills and that’s good, because research shows that people thrive in their roles because of soft skills. To accentuate this point, 75% of people report their boss is the source of their highest stress. Countless studies have shown people leave companies because of leadership, far less than pay or position. PRAX has the privilege of helping people work on who they are, and we do that by practicing our deepest priorities, upgrading our emotional regulation, and elevating our behavioral responses. This is what PRAX does.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The Modern Art Musuem – Some of the most beautiful art in the world in our backyard. Hyenas Comedy Club – Always quality comedians and easy to add to any night out.
Joe T Garcias – The garden / margarita experience is unforgettable.
Thompson’s Cocktail – The best drinks in town and the vibe to match.
Mule Alley – It’s like a metro cowboy threw up here and we love every part of it.
Oak & Eden, “the library” – Get a custom bottle of whiskey created before your eyes.
Kincaids – You can’t get a better
Stars/Mavs/Cowboys/Rangers – Although not technically FW, I never miss an opportunity to take friends to games.
Dickies Arena – Pick any form of entertainment and go here, you won’t be disappointed.
BassHall – The venue itself is a show, but worldclass facility that almost seems to stick out here (in best possible way).
FW Zoo – Kids and adults alike have to visit what should be #1 zoo in the US every year.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
The bosses that have made me.

My Dad. My Mom.
My older brother, Alex.
My first boss, Cliff Parker.
My standout bosses over the years – Barbara Blevins, Jody Crane.

My wife, Chelsea. Her love and patience fuels me each day.

Website: www.praxleadership.com

Image Credits
Frederick Hardy Photography, LLC

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