Monday, April 21st, 2014


Say that sentence out loud three times.  “I’m so tired today, just plain exhausted!”

If you can’t say it or bear to read it then probably you are—tired, just plain exhausted.

It’s your job to be optimistic and tireless.  And your role is one of the most demanding and impossible in today’s world.  I won’t count the ways.  You know them.

So I would bet money that you are beyond fatigued and won’t let yourself see it.  Chronic fatigue has become the default position that you live and work from.

I once interviewed  a group of top food retailing executives about their role.
After we finished the conversation, I reacted by saying, “You must be tired all of the time.”  You know you have hit a taboo when there is a bodily reaction in a group all at the same time.  It was like I had set off an electric current.  One flinched.  One pushed back from the table.  One stood up spontaneously. You know the famous dead elephant in the middle of the room that everyone pretends isn’t there?  Well I had seen it and named it.  Outrage and attack followed.

Exhaustion means less capacity for work, less motivation, reduced efficiency and accomplishment.  It also means lousy judgment.  Poor decision making–too fast or too slow.  There can be a sensation of boredom.  The formal definition is when “energy expenditure outstrips restorative processes”.

One of the lousiest places to find yourself is under high, high demand combined with boredom and exhaustion.  And worse, not being able to admit it.
This is the penultimate blind spot of a top leader.  You have too many people depending on you to not care for yourself well.  Will power is not enough and I know you have plenty.  Get some body power to go along with it.


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