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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Journal - The 5Ls – The Gift of a Balanced Life: How to Achieve True Work-Life Balance

CEO Journal

The 5Ls – The Gift of a Balanced Life: How to Achieve True Work-Life Balance

Just about two years ago, I wrote an article titled, “How to Achieve True Balance in Work and in Life”. In that article, I introduced you all to the 5Ls program. A one-of-a-kind wellness program that promotes healthy work-life balance and helps business leaders protect their most valuable assets: their people. T

his life-changing real-world support concept is the brainchild of my friend, Sal LaGreca. Sal partnered with Mike Mannix, a well-known leadership expert at New York University (NYU). Both Sal and Mike were global executives with a combined seventy years of leadership experience before they launched their company to help change lives for the better. They are both cofounders of the training and leadership development company, Unparalleled Performance.

Well, a lot has happened since I wrote that article. The 5Ls program has been providing tools for true work-life balance, and mental wellness to thousands of individuals, through customized trainings, seminars, and keynote speeches, on a global basis. It is also the cornerstone of their bestselling book, “The 5Ls – The Gift of a Balanced Life”, Your Pathway To Personal And Professional Success. The recently published book reached number 1 on the Amazon and IngramSpark New Release Best seller list, for work-life balance. Each one of the 5Ls is a chapter in the book. The book encompasses interviews with successful individuals who have shared their experience in one or more of the 5Ls and how it has impacted their lives. These interviews were held with corporate executives, professional athletes, high-ranking military leaders, other high-profile personalities and everyday people who have made a positive impact.

Utilizing their combined 70+ years of work and life experience, along with the wisdom shared by the interviewees, Sal and Mike lay out real life learning lessons and tools supported by scientific statistics.

What was quickly realized and the reason for the incredible success of the 5Ls, is that it knows no boundaries. Meaning, the 5Ls applies to everyone at every stage in their life.  From high school students to the C-suite of organizations in every vertical, the 5Ls has given them tools they can use. The 5Ls is not methodology. It is a program that gives you real action steps you can implement immediately. 

With the need for employee well-being and mental wellness being such a critical element to an organization’s success, the 5Ls have quickly become part of the culture of organization’s wellness programs to increase employee engagement, retention, and their team’s overall well-being.   

Let’s do a quick high-level overview. The 5Ls is a science- supported program that gives you real tools to navigate through life’s difficult or challenging times to find that critical work-life balance we are all searching for. They are as follows:


Without it, all else fails and must be looked at in the following order:

  • Self-love must come first. You can’t help anyone until you help yourself first.  This is called the Oxygen Mask Theory.
  • Healthy, supportive relationships. 
  • Love of what you do and the people you do it with.


Do not take yourself too seriously. You will make mistakes; you will fail but these are some of your greatest teachers. Laughter is also much more, it’s:

  • Using stress management tools and conquering the fear of failure.
  • The power of positive thinking that sets the proper tone and environment in your life.
  • Utilizing an attitude of gratitude to deal with difficult and stressful times.
  • All the scientifically proven mental and physical benefits of this L.


As humans, we are built to work, wired to produce. The key is to have something in your life that gives you passion and purpose. You need to look at labor in the following ways:

  • You need something that is for you and only you that provides fuel and inspires you.
  • Constantly developing yourself is critical to success in every aspect of your life.
  • Positive relationships are key to life balance. They don’t just happen. you must work on them.
  • As a leader at work and home, it is critical to focus on your team’s development and 5Ls balance.


You need to look at Leisure as an investment in you. Recharging your batteries, disconnecting, and clearing your mind is essential to being your best self and finding balance at home and work. Leisure is much more than just time off, it is:

  • Finding your “Me Time”; time to shut off the world, disconnect and reset. 
  • Taking time out to exercise on a regular basis. This small investment in yourself will yield countless benefits for your physical and mental health.
  • Realizing that clearer minds make better decisions. You can’t do this if you are rundown and emotional.


This, for some, is the hardest of all the Ls. Leave is knowing when to pivot and adjust the sails. Realizing when something is not working and changing course. This could be anything, even a bad decision you are holding on to. It is about:

  • Change management and using tools to be successful. 
  • Embracing change and seeing it as opportunity.  
  • Realizing that change is constant, you can only control the controllable and let the rest go.
  • Conquering the fear of the unknown and failure for the positive change you are looking to achieve at work and home.
  • Most of all, staying focused on the fact that brighter days are coming.   

The key is to stay focused on your balance of all 5Ls. Alone they have purpose. Together they have real power. The power to get you, your family, and your teams through any challenging time. It’s when you are focused on one or even just a few that life begins to unravel. 

Here is a quick visual that Sal and Mike use during their events to drive home how the 5Ls works. Hold up your right hand. Each finger represents one of the Ls: LOVE-LAUGHTER-

LABOR-LEISURE-LEAVE. Now take your left hand, hold it up, then clasp your hands together, and intertwine your fingers as the 5Ls overlap. This is all 5Ls working in balance.

If you try to pull them apart, it is very difficult. When you have all 5Ls firing in a balanced way, you are strong. If you start to release your fingers one at a time, you can pull your hands apart much easier. It is when you only have one, two, or even three of the Ls working in your life that things fall apart.

With anxiety, stress, and burnout at an all-time high and the need for emphasis on mental well-being, I’m proud to be associated with a program that goes way beyond employee engagement and has made such a global impact. I highly recommend this program to any organization as it speaks to every vertical dealing with these critical topics. Pick up a copy of their book. They can also be contacted at

Have you read?
What Happens If You Neglect Experience Management by Sami Kallio.
Philanthropist Digant Patel Discusses How Charity Work Improves Life Satisfaction by Digant Patel.
The Importance of Leadership in Science-Based Businesses by Michael Van Eaton.
Why Are Big Companies Losing to Startups by Mike Stemple.
The Power of We in 2023 by Leo Bottary.

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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Journal - The 5Ls – The Gift of a Balanced Life: How to Achieve True Work-Life Balance
Rob Lynch
Founder and Managing Director at Burst Consulting. Rob Lynch is a seasoned CEO and Entrepreneur. Prior to founding Burst Consulting, he led four start-up companies, all of which were acquired. As an experienced CEO, he has moved his companies to adopting new business operating models for increased monetization, raised outside financing while operating companies in a capital efficient manner, opened foreign markets and created highly profitable reseller and channel partner programs, and led the integration of several acquisitions. Rob is a former member of the US National Rowing Team, competing in four World Championships. Rob regularly competes and wins in US Rowing’s Masters National Championships.

Rob Lynch is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. He can be found on Linkedin.