A Secret of Successful CEOs
Recently I did something that I’ve been meaning
to do for a long time!
This idea was given to me by a visiting American speaker
named Walt Sutton, during his workshop entitled, “The
Secrets of Successful CEOs”. Among the many useful
ideas, the one that most struck a chord for me was the
idea that once a year business leaders should “escape” for
a few days of solitude. However, what with running several
businesses, getting married and starting a family, this
excellent idea got forgotten along the way (a common
occurrence, perhaps for many of us).
The idea is that every 12 months you should go off
somewhere by yourself for 2 or 3 days for some personal
reflection (the spouse/partner/children must be left
behind!). Most of us have a few special places we’ve
been to, often as children, that offer the ideal place
to unwind and get back to nature – maybe in the
mountains, national parks or by the sea.
There doesn’t have to be a particular agenda
- the main thing is to clear your mind and refocus on
the things that are most important in your life. It may
be best to plan absolutely nothing for the first day – treat
yourself to a nice lie-in and perhaps a leisurely walk.
Over the remaining days you can do a personal SWOT analysis
(strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats), look
at your likes and dislikes, work/life balance, goals,
aspirations, dreams, etc.
An exercise you may like to try over a full day, after
finding somewhere peaceful to sit/laze around, is the
- For the 1st two hours – Just let your mind
wander aimlessly, you’ll be amazed where it takes
- For the 2nd two hours – Take your mind back
to early childhood and slowly bring yourself back to
the present, focusing on all the positive things and
all that you’ve learnt and achieved.
- For the 3rd two hours – Think about the present,
where are you today. What’s most important to
you and what have you got to be thankful for? Reflect
on your goals and decide to achieve them (expect positive
Many of you may well be thinking your spouse or “significant
other” may not be too appreciative of this concept.
It may well help to lay some seeds before announcing
you’re off next weekend! However, you may be surprised
how supportive your partner is – they’ll
definitely thank you in the long run, as you will yourself.
Why not commit to going somewhere in the next 60 days.
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