We have all heard of the writers’ block. This is when a writer who is usually a brilliant communicator and fluidly exudes energy in writing and developing their content, cannot get the pen to make contact with the paper to move forward. The writer becomes “stuck”. It is commonly believed that writers’ block is caused by lack of inspiration, and/or lack of motivation. The reality is it’s caused by fear; fear of FAILURE.
As a CEO, executive or business owner you have a very similar process. Running the show is fun in the sense that it is a constant adrenaline rush. However, it is also addicting. People decisions, increasing competition, cash flow and many other ventures keep you past and present focused, but not future focused. Increases in organizational complexity demand more of your energy and time than you expected. You know you are in it when you would rather work around the business than in it. I call this the Success Block. This results from various discrepancies, all behaviorally motivated. Instead of more freedom, you have less, but you are too sucked in to be able to free yourself and you are petrified that if you stop even for a minute, the train will pass you by or you may get tempted to try something else.
Growth and success is a double-edged sword. Running your business feels like a frustrating vicious cycle. You take 3 steps forward and then 2-3 steps back. You’re like a chef cooking up so many delicious dishes and spinning too many plates and it’s only a matter of time before you, the plates or both start to fall because you’re too exhausted or dysfunctional to keep them all going in harmony.
The irony is that you, like most CEOs have been successful because you have been a high achiever, hardworking and a doer, so it is so hard for you to believe it in your heart and feel it in your bones that you are not helping yourself. I am always amazed to see more and more of your time scheduled around your priorities, instead of prioritizing your schedule.
The truth is failing to acknowledge and act on this leads to insular thinking, and less growth innovation. All strengths and weaknesses in your organization can be traced directly back to the leadership team including yourself. Levels of trust, competence, discipline, alignment, and respect – each require continual maintenance, care and growth.