Many of the leaders I work with come to me thinking that more time working means more results. That the goal is to push as hard as possible without burning out.
One CEO, who I’ve been working with for the last two years, used to make an analogy to cars. Every week, he would assess how busy he was by talking about RPMs.
Most cars can run at about 8,000 RPMs before they run into serious trouble.
But If I asked him how the engine was running, and he said 8,000 RPMs, I knew that was the bare minimum he would accept from himself. There were times he said 11,000 or 12,000 RPMs, when the business was really cooking. The question was how long he could maintain 11,999 RPMs.
At some point, though, he saw what all of my clients see, even as they resist all the conditioning that taught them otherwise.
They see that the breakthroughs happen in the pauses. They see that the more ease they can allow, the more effective they become.
I don’t mean that they aren’t busy. My client is still incredibly busy. But today, he isn’t nearly as stressed. Because he gets that it works against him.
He sees the river carrying him is more powerful than his frantic paddling every could be.
And that the river has bigger ideas than he ever did.