Every now and then I have these epiphanies so blindingly obvious that, when I point them out, people look at me like I’m a hapless dolt.
I call these ‘stupiphanies.’ Most of mine relate to leadership, either as a parent or a CEO. A few I’ve had in the last month are particularly worth sharing:
Stupiphany 1: Taking care of yourself is part of your job
I’ve been working absurdly hard for about two months now: My daily schedule started at 5:30 AM and generally ended at 9:30 PM, with little or no break or pause, except on weekends, when I’d collapse in a stupor. I also logged roughly 30,000 miles in air travel in 6 weeks. I’m sure travel veterans pish posh such tiny numbers, but for me, that’s a lot.
If you’re a CEO or President or Dad or whatever, you may think that by working more, you’re doing more of your job.
Untrue. Part of every leader’s job is to remain upright when necessary, prone when healthy and sane at all times.
If you don’t, your body and mind have a funny way of saying, “Cut the crap, idiot.”
For me, this moment came Tuesday, in an indoor cycling training class I do. The coach put up a course for us to ride on our CompuTrainers and said “go.” If you know cyclists, you know that where there is more than one, it’s a race. Three of us launched into a testosterone-fueled slapfight. I, as the slowest, had to pedal my brains out to keep up.
At the end of the class, I blinked away the stars and spots and I climbed off my bike.
Crack, said some part of my anatomy below my knees.
What the hell was that, I wondered?
I’m your ankle, dumbass
My ankle didn’t actually say that, of course. Instead, it sent little needles up and down my right leg.
Verdict? Dunno. Something strained/sprained/split in a way I’ve never done before, for no particular reason.
Basically, my body said Enough, Ian. You want to go non-stop for weeks? Fine. But you’ll do it with a pronounced limp.
Thanks to my stupidity, I’m now missing our most excellent snow fort building competition tomorrow. I can’t lead my troops into brave and slushy battle, then hide behind them while giggling madly. Fail.
Taking care of yourself is part of your job. Do it. Otherwise your body will make you.