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About Jacquie

Jacquie Molloy guides senior leaders to develop and display leadership authority (what she calls Authoritas); helps Boards to discover the power (and imperative) of exploring differences of opinion through Debate; and shares the practices for personal authority, high-performing teams and cultural excellence with individuals and organisations so they can be Visible in all the right ways.

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How to stay in the game

I bet you know this pattern: work builds up and we live at a frenzied pace for a while and then it completes or reaches a pause and the sudden stop throws us.

Or we get sick. Or our heads explode.

And when we get wise to this we start paying closer attention. That starts with us saying: ‘I hope I don't get sick. I always get sick when I go on holidays.’ (That’s awareness.)

Next stage is we reach for supplements or good food or exercise – all in lieu of sleep and quality rest most likely ­– as a way of minimising the effects of living in deficit and preparing for the sudden stop and collapse that is on its way.

(That’s prevention-ish; it can't hurt but it might not be enough to meet the monster head on.)

But at this level, you're looking for mastery.

You must pay attention to three areas: mental, physical and emotional.

Indeed your goal is to make it ‘life as usual’ in many respects — and possibly even better than ‘life as usual’. 

This isn't about perfection and never getting sick again.

But it is a willingness and commitment to maintain a level of practice.

Think of it as 3 areas of action.

  1. Shift, and strengthen, your mindset.

You'll always be at risk if your pattern is high intensity madness followed by a sudden stop.

Rather, like any athlete who must train, race and recover (and then do it again) knows, it is best done in tapered stages. And if you run or ride, you’ll know that the ‘speed’ or ‘smash’ is not the hardest part of your session, but rather those first 30 seconds when you drop back after holding a high speed or pace. 

That's when you really feel the burn and in training that’s where the focus is: learning to maintain a slow and steady drop back to — and hold at — the place where it burns the most.

Master that discomfort and you will be much stronger.

Your mindset shift is one that both allows you and encourages you to maintain some tension after the deadline even when you don't have to.

2. Pay attention to your physical needs: good food, regular exercise and quality rest.

Not rocket science right? But it’s amazing how quick we are to sacrifice some or all of these essentials to the dark altar of work, work, work and whatever other chaos we try to cram into our schedule.

When things heat up, you want to also activate any and all ‘extreme self care’ practices. (And if you think that sounds weak in any way, you have your priorities upside down. You want to stay in action, right?)

Self care also includes creating an environment of physical comfort and pleasure and support — especially when you are travelling and away from home.

3. Clarify your priorities (and generate some pride).

You can only maintain disciplined action when you know that it’s necessary and will get you closer to something even better.

When your tasks and actions are aligned with a strategy you believe in and your true priorities, then you also get to feel good and proud about your accomplishments.

Rather than being a negative, I believe that pride can be an engine, providing the fuel you need to stay in the game.

Good habits don't have to be 100% every day to be effective. “More days than not” is sometimes the best we can do.

But you don't have to get sick when you stop or go on holidays.

Overwhelm is a choice. And we have more say over the quality of our our day-to-day lives than we (choose to) think.

What say you? 

« Context & Perception | Main | Leadership gaffes big and small »

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