In a recent coaching session, the moment my client walked in the door I knew he wasn’t himself.
We’d been working on his transition out of being CEO of the company he had founded and at this stage he’d achieved almost everything he’d set out to do (and much more).
He was now only in the office 3 days a week so he had time for his other work and life goals, he was focusing on the parts of the business he most enjoyed and where he could have the greatest impact, he’d set up a state-of-the art home office, the new CEO was performing well and everyone in the organisation was now used to the new set-up.
He’d just created the exact lifestyle he wanted, but when he walked in my door that day he wasn’t that happy. So much so that he was even starting to question if he’d done the right thing.
So what was going on?
The answer was in fact very simple.
He had completely underestimated the importance to him of the day-to-day chit chat, human interaction and connection he had at the office. Sitting at home in his beautiful office with the day stretching out before him felt like staring into the abyss. To him – as a strong extrovert – connection, conversation and interaction with others were as important to his sense of wellbeing, mood and energy as food and water are to our body. Knowing this, he quickly changed the structure of his days to allow interaction with people and all was great.
The point is that if we are to be motivated, energised, feel good and perform at our best, especially over the long term, it’s essential to recognise our ‘fuel’ – what energises us and motivates us.
I work with a lot of entrepreneur CEOs and they usually don’t really enjoy a lot of the tasks involved in the day-to-day running of an established or successful business. They get their buzz much more from creating something, from problem solving, overcoming obstacles, making it happen, making it a success.
If they aren’t conscious of this, or they don’t act on it, an entrepreneur CEO can be highly successful in terms of achievement, money and status, but can end up not really being that happy or fulfilled.
This is why many of the people I work with look like they have it all, but are in fact often not really enjoying their lives or their work that much or certainly not as much as they know they could.
So, how clear are you about what energises you? What parts of your work do you really enjoy? What is your fuel?
For me, I know that time with people is critical for my energy levels (I’m an extrovert too) and my biggest energiser is hill running. I used to go hill running in the evenings or weekends as I saw it as my hobby but now I plan my time around getting at least one hill run in during the working week. I call these my ‘energy runs’.
The clarity I get from an hour in the hills pays back the time invested many times over. Not to mention the huge, immediate and lasting impact it has on my mood, my energy levels, my confidence, my happiness and my general wellbeing.
So, what is your fuel?
What steps can you take right now to increase the time you spend doing what energises you? And what can you do to reduce the time you spend doing the things (at work or outside work) that drain you or demotivate you?
If it’s hard to answer this question – you might need to get a little creative.
Can you delegate, outsource or simply stop doing any of the things that deplete you? Or can you change your role or your life so some of these things are no longer needed?
I promise you – if you do this – you’ll thank me for it!