How do I get my perspective back?
Have you ever felt like you are on a treadmill, constantly in motion, your head may be spinning, the days run you – not the other way around –and your situation never seems to change?
It’s not uncommon as a CEO and top executive to lose sight of your original goals and objectives. It can create a feeling of unease, stress, and even depression if left unchecked.
Many CEOs want to be more conscious leaders because they realise that it is not only good for their companies, but also for themselves. When a CEO is conscious, they are able to make better decisions for their company, and they are also able to be happier and more fulfilled in their own lives.
How to become a more conscious leader
A conscious leader is someone who is aware of their surroundings and the impact their actions have on others. They are open to new ideas and feedback, and they know how to give feedback to enable their team to develop – not shrink away – and are constantly learning and evolving. To become a more conscious leader, you need to be humble and be willing to admit that you don’t know everything. You also need to be patient and allow time for things to evolve.
In fact, a true sign of leadership is often saying ‘ I don’t know’. People will tend to know when you are bluffing – and saying ‘I don’t know’ is a sign of humility and confidence.
I remember having this experience when I was a young leader – the only woman in the Boardroom. We were going through some mighty big M&A changes, and I was leading all the communications.
I was at that stage where I was new to the Board, and prepared for each meeting, knowing the questions I would be asked. Except I knew the day would come where I didn’t have the answer to hand – so I took a gulp and thought ‘go for it’ –and said ‘I don’t’ know, I will get back to you this afternoon’.
The first three words of that sentence – whilst simple enough on paper – was a huge confidence boost and leadership growth spurt. My CEO at the time actively listened, and guess what – he was fine. I didn’t feel stupid, I felt encouraged.
This is why a leadership coach, or an executive coach for that matter can help you to completely transform your inner mind, how you run your day – to ensure you are leading from an authentic space. This will create an air of influence, gravitas, and spur on your teams. They will know you are the real deal..
A coaching relationship creates space, objectivity, accountability and empowers leaders to be the best they can be in their current situation, and map out their future path. Coaching provides the continuous support needed to build upon strengths while helping you address personal blind spots and potentially limiting behaviour patterns.
I’ve seen people’s posture, colour/complexion, and even wrinkles improve in one session after they offload and describe what’s going on to an impartial observer. It’s like a load has been lifted!!
Here are some additional ways to become a more conscious leader:
- Be present in the moment – It’s easy to get pulled into the day-to-day operations of an organisation and lose sight of your original goals. What’s most important is not getting caught up in this whirlwind, but rather staying present in the moment, no matter how fast or furious it may seem.
- Be aware of what you say – Whether it’s in a meeting, with your staff, or even to those you manage, be conscious of what is coming out of your mouth. Be sincere and authentic; don’t say anything that you wouldn’t say to your best friend – not only will this make people feel more comfortable around you, but it’ll help get the right idea across in the first place.
- Don’t feel like you need to know everything – As a leader, it can be hard to take your hands off the wheel and let others take the helm; however, this is an important step towards becoming more conscious about what’s going on around you. Giving up some control shows that you’re willing to listen and that you’re cognisant of what’s going on with your staff, even if it’s beyond your field of expertise.
- Listen actively and with empathy – This is heavily tied into tip #3, but it’s important enough to be its own step. Active listening encompasses everything you’ve learned up until now; however, empathy goes a couple of steps further. Empathy requires you to not only understand where the person with whom you’re speaking is coming from but to show that understanding through your voice and body language.
- Take time for self-reflection – Take time to reflect on what’s going on around you, take some time for self-reflection and contemplate how you can improve moving forward. Meditation has been shown to help quite a bit with this process, as have journaling exercises.
- Simplify communication – This is the most important thing on the list and by far the hardest to achieve. One of the best ways you can improve your communication skills is to ask yourself what you truly want to say before opening your mouth; be concise and straightforward with no room for confusion or misinterpretation of your message.
- Stay curious about the world around you – Once you’ve gained some perspective, don’t lose it again by sticking your head in the sand. Be curious about what’s going on around you by reading books, attending conferences, and engaging with experts in your industry.
Staying focused and keeping your perspective
As a CEO or any top executive for that matter, it’s important to stay focused on the big picture. This means keeping your perspective broad and your goals in sight, even when you’re bogged down in the day-to-day operations of your company. Your teams want to see you embody the vision – walk the walk, talk the talk.
It’s easy to lose sight of your original objectives when you’re constantly in motion, but with a little conscious leadership and some good old-fashioned self-coaching, you can get back on track.
What are CEOs and executives doing when they lose their perspective? At what point do they face the most challenges in their careers?
Why does perspective matter?
The perspective you bring to your job will influence how you direct and manage your company. It acts as a filter that determines what you see and how you respond to events and people. When your perspective changes, so too will the results in your life.
CEOs and executives face the most challenges when they lose sight of their original goals, objectives, and vision. It’s easy to become overwhelmed by daily events like competition, deadlines, and financial pressures. This is natural; it’s how you deal with these forces that make all the difference in your life. Yes, businesses are processes but as much as that businesses are PEOPLE – human beings, not doings.
How do CEOs get their perspective back?
When you’re feeling out of control, one of the best things to do is take your attention away from daily events and focus on what’s important to you.
You can use mindfulness techniques like meditation, or deep breathing exercises to help manage stress. When you’re stressed, your body releases cortisol which inhibits rational thinking – by that time your blood is pumping and you are ready for the light. But oxygen and deep breathing is the antidote. By taking some deep breaths, you can calm your mind and bring your focus back to what’s important.
Meditation helps you lose the clutter in your life; it allows you to prioritise by showing which battles are worth fighting and which ones aren’t. You let certain things go and get used to acting from a very centered place. Not reactive. Every day, set aside time for reflection; this will provide you with insight on how to deal with daily events. I often recommend mindfulness or even a mindful moment just to decompress in-between meetings or Zoom calls!
Listening to your intuition (which will be improved by the techniques above as they quiet the mind) and following the signs will help you create balance in your life, which is essential for CEOs and top executives who are constantly on the go. Listen to the signs – your gut feeling, your intuition. Your spiritual side might be trying to tell you something important about yourself or work.
Is there anything else you can do?
It’s impossible to enjoy life if you don’t have a balance between your personal and professional life. Most CEOs are constantly on the move; they miss their families, friends, and the opportunity to slow down. This presents a unique problem for CEOs who want to ensure they enjoy life while continuing their career. If you feel yourself burning out, consider coaching.
Working with a coach will allow you to share your emotions and find ways to deal with daily pressures more effectively so you can unplug from your work.
Being a CEO or top executive is one of the most rewarding jobs in the world. If you can keep your perspective, live your values through what you do, it’s possible to move mountains with your impressive leadership skills. Keep your focus on what’s important to you and create happiness through balance in life.
For more information on how you can get your perspective back, contact me to book a free consultation.