As the leader in your business, you are the person that everyone looks to, to solve problems and motivate your team. You’ll be expected to instill certainty in the direction of the business so your team will be inspired. After all, you are the driving force in your business; your employees have bought into your vision, and they are counting on you to be that guiding light to take them to the promised land.
So, How Do You Fill Others’ Tanks When Yours is Empty?
If this sounds like you, then you are not alone. CEO fatigue is a symptom we deal with at 7 Stage Advisors on a frequent basis. After years, and decades, with the accelerator pushed to the limit, how can you sustain that peak level of energy and enthusiasm that you had on Day 1 of the job? There are times when even the most positive person doesn’t feel inspired. What do you do when you need to inspire your team, but your own cup is empty? Here are a few ideas to help you recover quickly and instill confidence in others that is so necessary to your company’s success.
Find Your “Why”
When you feel uninspired, reconnect to why you got into the business in the first place. Ask yourself, “What is the ultimate fantasy I have for my business in the next 5 years?”. Answering this question will help you to imagine a brighter future, and gain a renewed perspective on your current situation.
Creating a compelling picture of your future is the quickest way to transform how you feel in the present. This is a good time to pull out your mission statement and re-read it. If you have positive comments, reviews and testimonials from customers, that’s even better. Remind yourself of the progress that you have made to date, as well as the lives that you have impacted. Starting to feel a bit better already?
Show How They Fit Into the Company’s Vision
Share your vision with the team and tell them these four things:
- “Here are all the reasons I love and respect you as a team, and why I want to go on this journey with you.” Be specific in pointing out what it is about them that you admire and respect.
2. “Here’s where the business is going.” Lay out your long-term vision and direction for the company. You can use the distinctions that you made when you asked yourself the ‘ultimate fantasy’ question earlier..:)
- “There’s a seat for every one of you on this bus, and I very much look forward to having you onboard as we grow together on our journey.” Using a mockup of the organization chart, explain in detail what the future of the company will look like five years from now, and the growth potential that exists throughout the company.
- “There is much more potential inside of you. We want to help bring out your greatness.” Sit down with each person one-on-one and explain in detail how you see that individual contributing to the long-range growth of the company.
7 Stage Advisors surveyed 435 Companies on 55 distinct areas of their business. This particular question illustrates just how few leaders effectively communicate their mission and vision to their staff. Only 23.7% of the key employees strongly agree that their company has a clear mission and vision statement! How can you expect your team to remain fired up about the direction of their company when they don’t know the direction of their company?
Take Your Feelings to the Gym….Daily!
If you’re feeling lackluster, maybe you just need a good round of positive self-talk to turn things around. Create a #DailyInspirationRoutine. Each morning, listen to your favorite music, read your favorite quotes, say a mantra, affirmation or incantation OUT LOUD. Do this for a few minutes each morning while working out, showering, driving to work, etc. You will feel your mood change. It works! Elevate yourself, then you can elevate your team.
Step Up…or Step Aside
If none of these tips get you fired up, and they don’t fire up your team, then maybe someone should fire you! Seriously, you should go ahead and get your entrepreneurial pulse checked at the local hospital, because you’ve got bigger problems than growing your organization and the people in it :-). Every successful company has sustained enthusiasm for the daily activities that they perform to make the world a better place for their customers and their employees.
If you are no longer the source of the that enthusiasm and inspiration, and no longer have the fire in your belly to motivate your team, then it is time for someone else to take your place as the C.I.O. (Chief Inspiration Officer). I suspect though, that if you are reading this article, you are not quite ready to hang it up….and you are seeking a shot-in-the-arm to ready yourself for the next phase of the business. I applaud your tenacity and determination to lead, and serve, at the highest levels!