There is no easy way to the top of Everest and it is the same in business. CEO’s have all made sacrifices to get to sit in the big seat. The big question is, “are many of the sacrifices made actually necessary”?
So often we see people putting in long hours, pleasing the boss, fueling their ego and trying to get a step ahead of their colleagues, like it is a game. So, how much productivity is lost through people being overworked, over-stressed and caught in a negative frame of mind?
Many people only see the successes of a CEO, rather than what lies below the surface. Hard work, dedication, discipline, persistence, failure, disappointment, sacrifice and failure are what it takes to get to the top in any industry.
Recently we surveyed a number of CEO’s, Senior Managers and Business Owners (CEO) on “What are the top 5 sacrifices you have made as a CEO that you would take back in a heartbeat?”
The top 5 sacrifices are:
#1 limited time with children and family,
#2 not prioritising my own fitness,
#3 a lack of time to look after my health and wellness,
#4 forgetting about my friends, and
#5 working during family holidays.
When you take a look at this list, you notice a number of aspects that so many people value, especially family, but when it comes to the crunch people often choose work first. It is common for people to make the choice to work as they think there will always be time for family and friends.
“Spending too much time with accountants and lawyers (it took time away from people that really mattered).”
There is more and more research showing that sleep, as well as psychological and physiological recovery, are major ingredients in mental and physical performance. Why do we then sacrifice the most important aspects of growth to overwork our brains?
“Pure vacations, as business owner there is no pure down time”
Not having enough time for hobbies and personal development were also common. Many people wait until they are retired before they focus adequate time on themselves and what they really want to do in life. In many cases they lack the energy to really do what they want when they retire as they have neglected their health, wellness and fitness for some many years as they ground it out every day at work.
“Exercising more and less procrastination when thinking about exercising”
It was interesting to hear that a number of CEO’s say they sacrificed a lot of time with negative colleagues and Board members. They noted at times it made their life miserable, as it took the enjoyment and time away from their innovative and creative mind.
“Not being aggressive about Board of Directors composition. I need a Board that adds value, not just meet and waste my time. It was a sacrifice because it made my life miserable.”
The one aspect the resonated a lot with us, is that a number of the CEO’s felt they didn’t say ‘thank you’ enough, to those that really matter. Gratitude is an important part of being a successful leader. We sometimes forget that a lot of other people in our lives are making sacrifices to support our drive for success.
“Not saying thank you enough – to my family, my friends (many were neglected) and employees (who really made the company work).”
You have a choice, you can commit to the hard slog and burn the candle or you can put measures in place to ensure your productivity is high and you have the time for the important aspects that matter in life.
Stay tuned as we begin to open you to a different way of approaching work so you can deliver a high level of performance in all aspects of life.
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