It is such a privilege to work with such magnificent, diverse people.
And it seems to me there’s a certain level of success that people can get to in their careers by working really hard.
Then it plateaus. I’m sure there’s some philosophical or psychological concept around this. Maybe you know it and you’ll tell me.
Beyond that plateau, in my experience working with very high level execs, there’s a next level of success and joy that people get to in their careers…
And when I talk about success or achievement, meaning and joy are baked in.
These people are operating in a different way.
Here are some things that feel true to say about most of them:
1. They don’t “do” drama in their personal or professional lives.
I’m not saying that drama isn’t there, they just don’t do it. They don’t talk about it or amplify it through their words or time. Like the concept that if someone throws you the ball, you don’t have to catch it. I’ve noticed that even if I throw them a “drama” ball, like, “Wow, that sounds INSANE,” they don’t catch it. They may laugh in acknowledgement of the insanity, but they don’t metaphorically pull up a chair and settle in to tell me all about it.
2. They take outstanding care of themselves.
Like the CEO I know who does a 5-mile walk every day around the lake. (I’m impressed by people who run 5 miles every day, but think about the time it takes to walk 5 miles).
3. They protect their time.
They sometimes have a whole entourage of people who keep the world from distracting them.
4. They are present.
When they’re with someone, they are with them, even if it’s a 15-second conversation to say that now’s not a good time. Being harried, distracted, or multi-tasking is not something they wear around. The absolute highest-level exec I’ve ever worked with wowed me by how spacious and present he was. Maybe he was rested from all the time on the private jet closing a deal with a country. Not company, a major European country, but I believe that the highest-level execs have to be supremely discerning about their time. And they don’t do most things. Because...
5. They focus on their brilliance, not doing it all.
They let other people do what they do best. And they appreciate them genuinely and lavishly for doing so.
6. They express gratitude and they give grace.
They may not use the word “love,” but they love their employees, their customers, their peers, their colleagues in the industry. When people mess up, they grant them grace, seemingly effortlessly, while still holding supremely high standards.
I don’t think these people talk very freely or publicly about their professional lives...
I don’t blame them.
They are often very humble and it is against our cultural norms to have spaciousness of time, for instance, or to not be working super hard.
I deeply believe that you need to embody the behavior of the version of yourself who has the work you want in order to get it.
The private jet executives didn't start being discerning about their time and energy once they were flying around on private jets. They were discerning first.
My guess is that private jets aren’t your focus.
Your career goals are about meaning and impact. That's why I do this. Because I want more people like you, with a definition of success like the one you have, to be successful. Maybe one of these mindsets could be helpful to cultivate.
Thanks for reading.
I’m in your corner.
Emma Garrett is an Executive Career Coach, helping high-integrity leaders position themselves for what’s next in work and life. Ready to start doing things differently? Consider scheduling a free call to share your situation and goals or checking out the resources atwww.emma-garrett.com.