Senior Leaders - this one's for you!

Senior leaders, this one’s for you. Are you enjoying your work? Are you going to work and enjoying what you’re doing today? In my past experience it sometimes seemed that being serious, having that gravitas of a Senior leader suggested that “you” weren’t able to or shouldn’t be enjoying your work. Is that you?

There is no reason why a senior leader, CEO, CTO, COO, President, etc., shouldn’t be enjoying their day, every day.  Your ability to enjoy the day probably has big impact on your direct team’s ability to enjoy their day and so on to the last person hired in to your company. Allowing yourself to find some level of enjoyment in your work is also healthy!

For the niche clients that I work with, those of you leading small growing companies to those of you leading companies of 300 to 400, what is it that makes your day less fun than it could be?  What makes today less than fun than the day you started or the day you conceived your new business?

The list of “reasons” that I often hear include:

  • I’m doing too much and I have to do, x, y, z, and more and there is no time

  • There really isn’t anyone else who can do this since we are running lean

  • People aren’t doing the right things and I have to help them

  • I just have to do this now, for a short while

Maybe you have a few others to add?

The first thing to realize is that these are beliefs you hold that may have basis in a number of experiences. If these potentially long held beliefs are no longer true, what would that mean for your day? What would that mean for how you might be able to enjoy your day more? What would it mean for your people if you got out of their way?

If the beliefs are currently valid, they could potentially point to process or roles and responsibility issues that can be addressed without too much drama or too large an effort. What would solving those issues do for your day?

The challenge often is that these beliefs are held really tightly by the Senior Leaders expressing them - there could be a long history of experience there.  The fact that they are tightly held means that dislodging them may take significant effort and dislodging them only allows them to be examined. Replacing them with something more effective and forward focused takes further energy and work.

To enjoy work more often, be happier and likely more healthy, Senior Leaders need to examine  statements they make similar to the above! Understand that they are beliefs you hold, challenge them and explore how you might shift it slightly. What would it mean if you didn’t have too much to do? What could it mean to you and your company if you could step up to more planning, following relevant trends, delegating, and communicating more often. How much more would you enjoy what you do?  Put in the effort to figure it out. You might also end up having fun!