What do you keep telling yourself when you have no more bandwidth to do one more thing?
If you are a high achieving business person, I bet you just said to yourself, “I can always do just one more thing today.”
That’s exactly what my senior VP client told me two weeks ago.
And yesterday I got a call from his office that he wanted to talk, that he was feeling somewhat better from the raging headache, high fever, and chills that Covid19 had blessed him with.
He called me later in the day and said “Sylvia, I really am a jerk. I thought I was invincible. Yes, I feel better now but I know the fever will get me again and I just wanted to tell you that you are right. And thanks.”
Before I could ask him what I am so right about he said he had to go (he meant that literally) and rushed to the bathroom.
Today he called again and had more time to put his thoughts together.
He asked me to write my weekly blog about what he las learned in the very long and unpleasant past few weeks.
“I want everyone to know that they better prioritize what really matters before crazy COVID does it for them. I was such a high achieving guy that I would listen to people who talked about work-life balance as if they were all wimps. Male and female, they were the ones who would never be the top leaders.
I, on the other hand, was always there saying things like ‘As soon as….’
Our bottom line is better.
There are a few more experts on my team.
Our technology issues are handled.
I can delegate to the newbies.
I come up with some new products.
Here is what I learned. So sad, I had to learn it the hard way. I know you have been encouraging me to look for a better balance. And, I must admit, I figured you were just giving me your ‘be kind, be nice’ woman talk.
I saw myself as fierce, kinda the ‘large and in charge’ type of guy. It’s all bullshit!
This pandemic takes out whoever gets in its path.
Unless you, that means everyone who reads this, learn to prioritize, stop barreling though because you can, ignoring the pain, both physical and emotional, from having to be a super-achiever, not stopping to say “What the hell am I doing and even better, why am I running on empty?” you may never get a second chance.
I’m lucky. Like Chris Cuomo on CNN. I’m getting better and am able to get great care from my wife. I only hope that she and my three kids stay well.
I am now willing to do whatever it takes to have a life that is more about sharing and caring than about being the first up the hill.
I want some pointers on what I can do to be a more effective human being, not just a more effective leader.
Tell everyone that life includes work yet it is not just about that slippery word, success unless you have it in all areas of your life.”
And there you have it.
We are all being given the opportunity to look inside ourselves and make some vital decisions.
When you feel like you have no more bandwidth, I suggest that you take a break so you won’t break down or burn out.
Hopefully, the virus will pass you by. Or at least, you will have the stamina to fight it off.
Live a life that is satisfying and fulfilling. Now, that is a great definition of success.