Visit Indy CEO Leonard Hoops on Achieving Work-Life Balance

Convene asked Visit Indy’s Leonard Hoops about whether he thought the post-pandemic emphasis on work-life balance would change the way the industry operates. Yes, Hoops said — and no.

Author: Barbara Palmer       

runners legs in race

There will always be someone who moves a little faster in the race for that next opportunity.

During a recent podcast interview with Leonard Hoops, president and CEO of Visit Indy and chair of PCMA’s 2024 Board of Directors and Trustees, Magdalina Atanassova, Convene’s digital media editor and podcast host, asked Hoops whether he thought the industry would change in order to attract younger professionals who are oriented toward work-life balance. In his answer, Hoops referred to one of his favorite quotes, from American long-distance runner Steve Prefontaine: “No matter how hard you train, Somebody will train harder. No matter how hard you run, Somebody will run harder. No matter how hard you want it, Somebody will want it more. I am Somebody.”

Here is what Hoops had to say about managing people vis a vis work-life balance:

Leonard Hoops headshot

Leonard Hoops

“The easy answer to [whether the industry will change] is yes and no. Yes, there has been a paradigm shift — people are looking for balance in general. The ‘no’ is that the human condition is such that people who want to achieve more are going to end up not having that great of a balance — it’s just the nature of the human being. There are people who want that balance in the world. If that makes them happy, great. I’m all for that.

“My team at Visit Indy — 58 people — is a mix of people who are not looking to be working 60 hours a week and I have no issue with that. But there are also people who are going to want to do that and who are looking to move up, whether it’s at Visit Indy or somewhere else within the industry, in their careers. And you can’t kind of have it both ways. If there’s some part of your team that is putting in extra and they want to move up, you’re going to notice that as the CEO, relative to somebody who is like, ‘I’m eight to five and I’m traveling when I want to travel, etc.’ You can’t always have it both ways. So, I fully support and want to empower those who want to have that balance, because I think that’s great.

“We’re seeing more people with flexible work schedules, there are more organizations open to that, as long as we get the job done. But the human condition — we’re just wired in a way as a species that there [are] going to be people who, like Prefontaine, are Somebody, and that Somebody is going to come for that next opportunity.”

This interview excerpt has been edited and condensed. You can hear the entire conversation below or on the Convene Podcast.

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