Are you feeling a state of overwhelm, a loss of drive, or a chronic state of stress as you lead?
These are signs that your “executive edge” is slipping. Not only can this keep you from doing your best work, it can quickly demoralize you and throw you into a low-grade funk. In fact, if left unchecked, it can lead to burnout – a debilitating state. The loss to your company is great; the loss to you personally may be immeasurable.
When you are leading, you can’t afford this.
How can you quickly recapture your edge before you lose control?
Strengthen the foundation.
Your executive edge is built on a foundation of drive, focus, and energy. If one of these areas is not nurtured, your edge will become wobbly. In fact, you won’t notice at first – the process is insidious.
Early symptoms of edge loss can be detected if you find yourself in one of the following situations:
- You find you are regularly pulled off “into the weeds” by other projects while you attempt to concentrate on what’s important.
- Your desk is full of work that feels like a daily grind instead of a forward move to bigger goals.
- You carry a low-grade source of tension that keeps your brow furrowed. (Hint: are your neck and shoulders perpetually knotted up? Your chest tight?)
If you identify with any of these situations, it is time to recapture your edge by strengthening its foundation.
Here are Three Ways to Recapture Your Edge
1. Refocus your efforts.
Have you been pulled off in directions that have taken you away from what is most important? Do you find it hard to get back on track?
A moderate loss of focus means you need to review your 90-day plan (your quarterly action plan supporting your yearly goals).
A severe loss of focus means revisiting your long-term and short-term goals supporting the company, outlining a new 90-day plan that supports this, and actually blocking off “closed door” time on your calendar to work on what is most important.
2. Revive your drive.
If you are feeling that work feels like drudgery or a bit of a grind, there is a good chance you have lost your drive.
If you want to test this out, go back to your “why” – the reason you do what you do.
What is the bigger picture? Why does the company exist? How does it make life better for the world? And how do you play a part in this?
Revisit the answers to these questions daily. Remember why you do what you do.
3. Eliminate hidden energy drains.
If you carry a low-grade source of tension, this indicates an unresolved conflict of some kind. Over time, this stress can cause a loss of energy, focus, drive, and actually develop a poor outlook and some significant health concerns.
Identify those sources of tension and conflict, and make a decision as to how to resolve these. As you let go of old baggage, you will find that your stress levels will diminish and you will feel much more energetic.
When you are leading a company or area of responsibility, your edge needs to be present so that you contribute your best. And of course, on a personal note, life is too short not to enjoy living and enjoying your best life.
DO OTHERS REALLY TRUST YOU?
Learn the two vital parts to trust and how they can help you become a more highly effective leader.
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Patti Cotton helps executives optimize their effectiveness in leading self, others, and the enterprise. Her areas of focus include confidence, leadership style, executive presence, effective communication, succession planning, and masterful execution. With over 25 years of leadership experience, both stateside and abroad, Patti works with individuals, teams, and organizations across industries, providing executive consulting, leadership development, succession planning, change management, and conflict resolution. She is also an experienced Fortune 500 speaker. For more information on how Patti Cotton can help you and your organization, click here.