Monday, June 14, 2010

From Overcrowded Living to Personal Balance and Excellence - part #2

THEME: Spring 2010 From Vision to Action Roundtable Report

FOCUS: From Overcrowded Living to Personal Balance and Excellence - part #2

Monday morning: June 14, 2010

Dear friends,

Too many people in too many companies are living an overcrowded lifestyle and hoping it will change. As they say down south, those who only talk about going to heaven usually don’t. The same goes for those who only talk about changing their life. They usually don’t. As Stephen Covey said many years ago, you can’t talk your way out of something that you are behaving your way into.

Here are two lessons I have learned from executive coaching many people this past winter into spring. First, focus less on motivation and more on inspiration. Motivation is something that causes a person to act. Sometimes it is fear and sometimes it is clarity. Sometimes, we are not even sure why we do what we are doing. Inspiration on the other hand is something that causes a person to want to move forward rather than have to move forward. It comes from the inside rather than from the outside. Given all that has happened in the last 12 - 18 months, I believe we need more inspiration and less motivation.

Second, we need to learn to manage our energy, not our time. As Marcus Buckingham wrote in his book, The One Thing You Need to Know ... About Great Managing, Great Leading, and Sustained Individual Success, Free Press, 2005, “What differentiated the best [tennis players] from the rest was not what happened during the points, but rather what happened between the points. The best had faster and more effective recovery routines.... Stress itself is not the enemy we typically think it is. Uninterrupted stress is.” There are days right now when a good number of leaders need to learn how to give themselves permission to rest, recharge, and rejuvenate. We are so addicted to living in go mode that we do not know how to actually rest.

Third, we all need to redefine our non-negotiables. For me, there came a point in the growth of my business where I could have started doing more and more weekend workshops related to stress management and then leadership. With young children moving into school related activities, a wise friend reminded me that your teenage children will need you more than when they were young. The only challenge is that they will need you to be available when they are ready, not when you are always ready. Recognizing this truth, I came to a decision that I needed to no longer do any weekend workshops. I needed to be home starting on Friday night through to Monday morning. I lost business due to this decision, but I learned from another mentor of mine that you only get to raise children once and you can raise flowers twice.

This week, reduce your level of uninterrupted stress and give yourself permission to rest and recharge.

Have a marvelous week,


P.S. Given the first day of summer begins in a week, I am going to follow my own advice and rest for a while from writing my weekly Monday Thoughts. I will be back in touch with all of you in the later half of the summer. Meanwhile you can always find past 2009 Monday Thoughts Weekly e-mails on our web site:

or here on my blog:

Enjoy the summer!

Geery Howe, M.A.Consultant, Executive Coach, Trainer inLeadership, Strategic Planning and Organizational ChangeMorning Star Associates319 - 643 - 2257

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