Where do you go to meet yourself?

February 7, 2014

A very simple question with a bit of a deeper touch to it. 


Working with Talent Development and Leadership Development in a number of Danish and international companies, I see a common denominator of high performing leaders, specialists and project managers: Often they have to balance their actions in situations where circumstances or interest of others creates a "pressure cooker" experience.



This experience is generally rooted in a positive desire to achieve even more, or to get results as fast as possible, which are both positive hall marks of an ambitious performance culture.

The down side is, that rather often the "pressure-cooker" is not cooking the task at hand, but actually cooking the person responsible for getting the job done. 


Therfore there is a tremendously important responsibility resting by each of us: To take care of own resources as well as the job at hand. - Getting the job done is fairly easy if you know where you are going, what goods looks like and you have the resources to get there.

Getting to know your own resources is often a game of chance. You may have performed well before, perhaps even by pushing your own limits from time to time, which is very admirable, but if the consequence is negative on a personal level or wears your energy down over time, it is not admirable!

That is why it is your responsibility to be aware of your resources and balance of performance vs recovery. 



The simple picture to paint to understand this is to think of the olympic 100m sprinter. He or she looks in peak fitness condition and delivers an ultimate high performance at the track, but right after the performance he/she surely needs some time for recovery before the next race.

The sprinter knows this - you know this - everyone knows this. It is so obvious simply because the performance circumstances are so obvious. The same does not go for high performance in organizations. Here, you do not have a clear starting or finish line. Actually you may very well be running several races at the same time, which is why you need to be very self-aware of how you manage your personal resources.

In order to have that awareness you naturally need to have a deep personal insight and a high level of intra personal awareness combined with the courage and integrity to actually listen to the signals your mind and body are sending. 



Therfore the question Where do you go to meet yourself?

What is the safe environment where you find the time and space to test and assess your physical and mental capacity and resource? Having that kind of insight and awareness will let you know when to back down from more work load or when to delegate responsibility to peers.


Allowing time to that kind of personal reflection and subsequent action/restitution will be one of the crucial steps to life long leadership and sustainable performance.


By the way, the picture shows me meeting myself by freediving in caves at the island of Gozo near Malta.


Kristian Ragus



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