I have been an executive performance and wellness coach for a number of years. It's interesting, that every single client I have every had (especially senior level professionals) come see me AFTER they have already burnt out! Something has pushed them over the edge, either personally or professionally and they realize (and accept) that they just need help! Of course, that is one of the most beautiful aspects of being a wellness coach; it is a chance to empower professionals, leaders and CEOs to improve the quality of their lives. My work centers around happiness, wellness and the effect that these have on improving executive performance so I'd like to share some tips and strategies for those who want to begin the process of change.
Questions CEOs Must Answer Before They Improve Their Health
Some of the questions I ask my clients before we begin our work are designed to build more awareness around the actual content and context of their lives and what has lead them to such a high level of stress, lower performance and unhappiness.
Who do you want to be that you are not being?
What is the most important thing in your life that you're spending the least time on?
What intention do you have for your life that you're not meeting?
How much time do you spending taking care of your wellbeing?
Why do you think you reached a breaking point?
What needs to stop right now in order for you to get better?
How do you want to feel?
What is preventing you from living a happier, more fulfilled life?
This is not an exhaustive list of questions, but it begins the process of self-inquiry into the real state of the leader's life. They can't hope to move forward and heal if we don't have a good understanding of where they are! Often times, CEOs have not taken the time to ask these very important questions. They have been on auto-pilot; propelling business forward, taking care of challenges, looking after their team and not being completely honest with themselves on how they really feel.
Together we look at as many relevant areas as possible and being to identify, where the largest sources off the "problems" they are facing emanate from. In my work I have discovered that senior managers may despise their position in their current company, CEOs don't feel like they have any support and other business professionals can be excellent at what they do but they are bored. Some of the other problems I see include:
No commitment to their current company
Bad relationships with their boss
A desire to "Level Up" spiritually
Want more clarity or purpose in their life
Involved in a toxic relationship
No longer finding meaning in their professional work
Feelings of loneliness and isolation
General fatigue and exhaustion
So, in short, we begin with AWARENESS to better understand what the real challenges are. In addition we can use a variety of different tools during our engagements. I have sever that have been made especially for Repurpose You but others include age old reliable tests such as the perceived stress scale.
Making Sense of Your Life
After, we explore these questions at a deeper level we need to refine what the implications of that are. As Tony Robbins says, knowledge is only potential power. It becomes clear for people, pretty quickly, that there are things in their lives that need to change in order to achieve better happiness, productivity and wellbeing. A big part of my job is helping the professionals I work with explore all the areas of their lives. This includes:
Sense of purpose
I have never worked with a CEO or senior professional who came to me with a clear sense purpose, remarkable relationships, practical and well established wellness habits and an intimate understanding of exactly what their problems are. So, after the first steps of building awareness, we move to creating alignment. Why is this so important? Because, it was misalignment that created a lot of the problems in the first place. They may be stuck in a profession they do not like, or a relationship that isn't working. Their mental, spiritual and physical health is not synchronized or they just don't know exactly what they want. So, it then becomes our job to create a vision for who they really want to be (happy, purpose driven, healthy, high performing) and begin a plan to align their current thinking, environment, and habits with that vision.
In short, our next major step is to create ALIGNMENT.
Taking Inspired ACTION
Depending on who you are, the first two steps can take days to weeks! That being said, this step doesn't really "begin" after the first two, it is a central component of the whole process. After all, every session we have, every conversation, every suggestion you take and implement is action. However, notice in the title I said take INSPIRED action. These are the crucial steps that are needed in order to make real, tangible and valuable change in your life. This might include:
Resigning your current position
Ending a bad relationship
Taking a break or holiday
Moving cities or countries
Implementing a new habit
Enrolling in a course
Making a radical change in environment
Following a strict wellness plan
The choices that need to be made are in alignment with the vision that was developed for your life. Often times, they are big choices; ones that are difficult for you to make on your own! That being said, they are remarkable in their profound ability to move your life and profession in the right direction.
Here is the interesting thing. Once a CEO, professional, high performer, etc. begins to take inspire action things start to change, both inside and outside of themselves. The mind can resist changes, people in your life may ask questions, their could be insecurities, etc. This, subsequently is an opportunity for you to create even MORE awareness around who you are and what you want. From this additional awareness, we will have to align your thoughts, behaviors and environment to continue building the life they desire which will lead to MORE action. It's a fascinating process that I have witnessed in dozens and dozens of clients I have worked with. What ultimately unfolds is always incredibly transformative but often unexpected.
What CEOs and Professionals Can Really Find
What ultimately emerges from this process is greater purpose, performance and passion for work and life. It is an amazing process to witness and be a part of and it's why I love what I do.
I want to emphasize one thing here. Help is available and change is possible. So many CEOs, executives, business leaders and senior professionals feel stuck! They don't want to go to a psychologist or psychiatrist but also are not comfortable sharing their struggle with those closest to them both in their personal and professional life. If you are on on this page, reading this article then is is likely you are looking for change. I encourage you, if you are feeling depleted, depressed, anxious, or if you lack clarity, purpose or passion in your life, don't wait any longer. Take some small steps towards change. You CAN alter your reality and create a life that is worth living. Of course, as always, you are always welcome to reach out to me. I would love to talk!