The jet-set lifestyle and six figure salary is an ambition of young executives, to want to be a CEO, but what is happening behind the allure of the status is another story. Our journey into the Dilemmas of CEOs, continues, from last month’s newsletter.
Health Hazard: The job description of a CEO should come with a health warning and a personal therapist. The turmoil of leadership, as described by many organizational heads, is frustration, disappointment and anger. Such emotional upheavals, brings an overdose of stress and cortisol in the body resulting in accelerated ageing, heart attacks and cancer.
Leaving a Legacy or Disaster: There have been charismatic leaders who have turned around organizations and are quoted in books worldwide. However, if a CEO, makes one mistake, it is plastered in headlines, in next day news. He or she is the person on whom everybody focuses when things go wrong. No mistake goes unnoticed and every small decision affects millions of dollars and thousands of people. With great power comes great responsibility!
We have interacted with thousands of people in the corporate environment, across 67 countries. During our Training / Life Coaching, when it comes to career dreams they all want to be on the top of the ladder. The answer is always YES to the question – Do you want to be a CEO?
Young hopefuls on the first rung of the corporate ladder, look at the CEO with envy, at their fancy car, penthouse office, luxurious travel, the power, the status, etc. etc. The dream is farfetched and long haul, but it does deter them to strive towards it.
The façade of CEO-ship is indeed glitzy and glamorous, but what goes on behind the curtain is a different ball game, altogether. In modern times, specially, the role of a CEO has become more dynamic and complex. After discussions and coaching sessions with a multitude of CEOs, we have compiled an extensive report.
Have you ever had that Matrix moment when you can freeze time for a moment, just to get your bearings? It is that ‘eureka’ moment that everything makes sense,
Yet being illogical, senseless jumble. It is like trying to narrate one’s dream, which makes sense in the head but cannot be described. This image is the description of ‘Life in a constant state of flux.’ One could go crazy trying to understand the multitude of events at play in each person’s life multiplied by 7 billion (Earth population) – mutually exclusive yet cosmically connected, having impact on the evolving canvas of the universe.
Our brains are hard-wired to resist change, but we are being subjected to it all the time. Talk about a constant struggle uphill, while juggling the various roles of life. Our mind’s defense mechanism creates an illusionary anchor to give repose to the crazy chaos surrounding us, but even that is transitory.
Imagine, you are going for an important job interview, or meeting your future father-in-law, or being interviewed on television, or presenting to a large convention, etc. etc. You have already decided what you are going to wear, but left out an important item to choose – your smile!
We all smile – 20 – 50 times a day. It is the most natural facial expression, used universally, yet smile is the most misconstrued body language signal. It is the most obvious and easily recognizable body language signal, yet, holds a plethora of emotions behind it. It has only been 200 years that we have consciously started paying to attention to the science of body language. Prior to this was all face value and intuition, to interpret the ‘danger’ or ‘safe’ signals for the purpose of self –preservation.
Every time we reach a certain success level, we slide into a comfort zone. The energy that was required to get us to reach somewhere does not sustain itself, once we reach there. Our brains signal us to relax and pause for a while as we must be tired after making so much effort. The effort might not seem like effort once we are on the journey but once we reach a certain milestone, looking back satisfies us with the progress we have made. The ‘pleasure principle’ sets in to reinforce that I need to enjoy what I have achieved so far. Nothing wrong in this feeling or act of enjoying what we have but when this is prolonged over a period of time and frustration starts creeping in and we become restless. This is the comfort zone. Examples of comfort zone: When our routines and habits are followed for some time, we start feeling comfortable in pursuing them. Any change or deviation discomforts us and we slide back in our old habits as they provide us a comfort level.
Your choices today are having a butterfly effect on the life you will lead in the future. Just like your good or bad decisions in the past, have brought you at the juncture today. We are so wrapped up in the rut, that very nanosecond counts in solving problems. This fast paced life does not give us repose to think, if this choice is only good or satisfactory in the short term, but may have repercussions in the future. If we think about it, every footprint, we leave behind is changing the dynamics of the universe, not only for us, but for the future generations.
It is a hype in esoteric circles and originates from the chaos theory . It is simple yet difficult to explain, but I will try!
A part of the chaos theory that states that one small change in a situation can drastically change the outcome of an event. Butterfly comes from the example of the flap of a butterfly's wing altering the atmosphere around it causing a major event like a hurricane, thousands of miles away. The butterfly effect is a phrase that encapsulates the more technical notion of sensitive dependence on initial conditions in chaos theory.
I’m certain you have heard of the baby elephant syndrome, when a tiny elephant is chained to a tree, unable to break free despite his initial survival instincts. He grows up thinking no matter how many times he tries breaking the chain he will never shed the shackles. Now imagine a five ton adult elephant tied to small peg with a rope he can easily shatter, but never does. Talk about wasted potential!
It is so easy to see this conditioned response in others, but when it comes to me I’m blinded to my own self-defeating prophecies. I marvel at all those super human beings achieving various feats in life and wonder how they accomplished them. I don’t realize that I have the very same abilities as them, except for this self-imposed invisible chain I have wrapped around myself.
Little do we realize, how many of these limitations are imposed in our early childhood by our protective parents and cautious teachers. Rather than teaching us alertness, we were made fearful of what may or may never encounter us.
Are we aware of the excess baggage we are carrying in our personalities each and everyday which is tugging us down hindering our progress in life.
This baggage may include certain unpleasant personality traits or some distasteful cultural habits which are no longer applicable in the global arena. The identification of this baggage is more difficult as long as we are living within our culture. Like a fish in water, we are unaware of what water actually is.
With the shrinking of borders the world is becoming closer and I am having more contact with people of other cultures and their habits. But before I pass a judgement on others I need to be aware what my cultural incompetencies really are and why.
I often wonder why societies die ? What actually happened to the likes of Atlantis and Keftiu? We hear of the pomp & glory of a civilization and then it dies its own death. These wonderfully advanced occultist kingdom "self-destructed through misuse of high technology" is the narration left behind.
Archaeological finds of the documented civilizations tells us that all these societies were at the pinnacle of their success. Can we then assume that success might have driven them towards destruction? Does that mean we as a society will also perish?
What will the historians write about us? What will have been the virtues of our societies and what vices led to our extinction? Competitiveness, selfishness, materialism, egocentricity, dishonesty and moral bankruptcy. It’s funny how the 21st century has been labeled as the painless civilization, where modern technology and advancements have reduced the so called pain, but the absence of pain has also reduced the intensity of the joy.
Everybody dies, but not everybody lives.
Everybody lives but not the life they want.
We celebrate when a child is born and mourn when a person dies. Considering that a child is going to live in current times with the cultural pressure of survival and a painful life, perhaps it would be apt to say that we need to mourn the birth of a child and celebrate the death of a person as it relieves him or her of the pains of society that we have created ourselves.
What if the mother or father of a newborn child knows that the baby they just gave birth to will live a life of pain, misery and most likely be a victim of his circumstances. Not only will he harm his own life with wrong foods, wrong water, wrong habits, wrong influences, wrong thinking, etc. but will also contribute to bringing the same misery to others around him during the course of his or her lifespan. Wonder if the parents would still feel a sense of achievement? They are probably delusional that their child will grow up some day and become a messiah for their, as well as mankind’s, misery - for we all live in hope of a better future.