I know, how could you, the leader of a fine enterprise, ever be accused of having lost the plot! After all you are the chief visionary, motivator and decision maker in the business.
In my experience, however, it happens to most if not all of us at some stage. We have the senior leadership position in our company, we are massively busy – never a minute to spare, we are constantly tackling issues, solving problems for other people, we are constantly in demand – by customers, staff, shareholders…. and so on.
So what plot might you have lost? Well, how about the one that saw you not just leading a successful business but also able to enjoy the experience and the rewards that it brings to you and your family?
A former senior executive of my acquaintance, in a very successful, international business is a good illustration of my point. He’d worked his way through the management hierarchy and was the first “Brit” on the US-parent company management board. He was responsible for a large part of their international business. He’d “made it”!
What was he doing it all for? Well, like many of us, his answer was “for the future security of my family”.
However, when departing from home at the crack of dawn to be taken by car for an early morning flight at the start of another week travelling around his business domain, his wife said: “you will let me know when the future begins, won’t you?”
Her point registered with him, although he continued on his way – of course. Until some months later, when our conversation led to us both recognizing that we had focused more and more on “being successful” in our business careers and had actually lost sight of the most important reasons for pursuing that success.
I’m not advocating that you “throw in the towel” and “head for the hills” – unless that’s what would most make you happy! I do meet a lot of senior executives, however, who have lost sight of what’s most important in their life and have failed to accommodate it.
If you focus on doing only what you can do and delegate and re-prioritise the rest, you will find you can create space – just for you. Re-prioritising should cover more than your business activities too. Give proper consideration to those events of a more social or family nature – and commit to them.
By focusing, laser-like, on only where you add the greatest value to the business, trusting others to do what you hired them to do and re-setting your personal priorities, you can really enjoy your success – in the way you originally imagined.