Recently speaking at a UNSW Australian School of Business event, John Borghetti stated that he gets up at 3am on Sundays to catch up on the 4-500 emails he gets each day…. And that’s after an extremely efficient EA culls the majority.
David Jones CEO Paul Zhara resigned late last year for personal reasons, stating “he is tired”.
Courageous or crazy? Many would covet Paul’s job, the parties, the fashion, the people – but the relentless pressure to perform 24/7 while staying true to yourself and those important to you – may not be for everyone…
For most operating at the “C level” the pressure to perform is relentless, with pressure on results coming from many angles. These executives are expected to respond to changing customer preferences, social demographics impacting on demand, exchange and interest rate impacts, political imperatives and rapidly changing technology. And these are only a few of the challenges.
Authentic leaders need to balance the strategic with the operational – walk the floor and know their people but set the direction to navigate their organisation through future challenges. They are required to be strong and confrontational when necessary, but both humble and inspirational to capture the hearts and mind of a diverse workforce – one that may comprise multi generations, ethnicities and technical expertise.
Many of us don’t aspire to be the CEO of a large organisation, but throughout our career, most of us will experience the overwhelming feeling of just carrying too much. How you respond to that both outwardly and inwardly can either be a benefit or a curse.
Some are not prepared to ask for help, thinking they will be seen in a negative light, others are too proud to think that they just can’t do it all themselves. Many end up exhausted and angry, reacting badly – leaving others around them to judge them by their bad behaviour – rather than seeing the outcomes they’ve delivered.
Whilst tablets and mobile phones allow us to work out of the office, the 24/7 addiction to checking new emails, texts and calls can invade our lives. Go out to any restaurant on a busy night and notice how many people are on their phones rather than talking to their dinner companions!
Bottom line there is no simple answer. Whether it’s surrounding yourself with the best people, delegating effectively, using only the latest technology or setting rules as to when and how you handle your inbox; those effective leaders would say it’s a combination of several things.
At the center of it all is discipline. By that I mean the discipline to purposefully adhere to an efficient working style, consistently and never wavering. This goes for out of work as well, whether it’s fitness, personal development or networking – all things need to happen on a frequent and consistent basis.
Keeping an active watch on both the present and future and being agile enough to respond is essential regardless of your level. Being an active participant in your life, setting the course and forward direction, rather than being a passenger and going with the flow……