Any guesses on what makes a business owner frightening? Do you picture a drill sergeant that’s constantly berating the staff? Or possibly someone who doesn’t communicate at all. Maybe the worst type of business owner is one that micromanages every single little thing.
While all of these are undesirable traits in a boss, they do not make up the scariest type of business owner.
No, the most frightening type of business executive is the one that doesn’t take care of himself or herself. If a business owner doesn’t do this, then how can they take care of the company to the best of their ability? They can’t.
While taking care of yourself is a simple concept, its importance cannot be underestimated.
Assessing Your Energy Management With The Energy Audit
Tony Schwartz, president and CEO of The Energy Project, recently asked 160 senior bank execs in an informal poll to take his energy audit, a questionnaire designed to assess how well manage their energy.
The results were alarming:
- 77% said they had trouble focusing on one thing at a time, and felt easily distracted during the day.
- 80% said they take too little time to think strategically and creatively, and spend too much of their time reacting to immediate demands rather than focusing on activities with long-term value and higher leverage.
- 54% said they often feel impatient, frustrated or irritable at work, especially when demand gets high. (Source: Harvard Business Review Blog)
Let’s recap this and what it means for our businesses:
- The majority of company leaders can’t focus, which is key to completing tasks efficiently and properly.
- The majority of business executives don’t take enough time to strategically plan, which is one responsibility that no one else in the business has and is crucial to growing the business.
- The majority of company leaders are often grouchy.
Wow. Who wants to work with these execs? I don’t think everybody’s jumping at once for the chance.
It sounds like these execs don’t care about their companies. While I’m sure that’s not true for all the leaders, the execs aren’t managing their energy effectively, which can account – at least in part – for these outcomes.
Schwartz’s results of this poll were not abnormal from his experiences during the last three years, he said. He mentioned polling tens of thousands of leaders from a variety of industries that consistently admitted similar things. For more results from his senior bank exec poll, read his full article.
Don’t Be The Scariest Type of Business Owner
Even if the results of Schwartz’s poll were outliers in the bigger picture, it doesn’t lessen the importance of taking care of your company by taking care of yourself. If you’re too busy always putting out fires and not thinking about the future of your company, who will?
What else can you do to avoid burning out?
- Take breaks during the day to mentally recharge.
- Eat healthy lunches away from your desk and eat healthy snacks throughout the day to make sure you’re body has enough energy.
- Get 8 hours of sleep each night.
- Exercise daily and encourage employees to do so as well.
- Allow flexibility for family activities. If people have to leave work early for a child’s recital or soccer game, let them. Being able to spend time with family improves morale and makes for more productive workers.
- Don’t communicate with people at night or on weekends unless it’s an emergency. People need time to recharge.
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