It is unwise to accuse an audience of being dull in the first sentence of an article, so allow me distinguish upfront between being dull, and being dulled.
It is the latter that I am highlighting: the gradual draining of life force from an otherwise normally energetic individual. It is not an accusation, but rather an observation with its roots in empathy and a desire to help.
What has caused the dulling? The challenging, shifting, confounding, thrilling, exhilarating ecosystem that we call ‘business’.
The work that I am most busy with at the moment is helping CEOs ‘make the turn’ from a state of depletion to a state of vitality. For CEOs who make this turn, the positive knock-on effects are enormous: people, profit, purpose, shareholders, families, marriages, communities, personal health and weath.
Notwithstanding these benefits, CEOs are not exactly beating down the doors of those who are offering renewal and replenishment.
The reason? They don’t know they are ‘dulled’.
George Orwell insightfully observed that “to see what’s in front of one’s nose needs a constant struggle”.
This is true when keeping the dulling effect of business at bay. Being dulled is an infliction that creeps up on one, draining energy and optimism by small drops from a thousand cuts. Resilience is touted as being an hornourable defense, but it’s more a temporary bandaid than a long-term solution. A staving off of the inevitable.
The true cost of dullness is one’s wholeheartedness: enthusiasm; devotion; sincerity; optimism; creativity.
Without these attributes, leading a business becomes an arduous route march, likely devoid of the colour, intrigue and reward that business leadership offers when done properly.
The ‘turn’ that I speak of is entirely within the grasp of any CEO who is willing to seek it. It is a quest in that it requires seeking out. And it requires time. But once that turn is made, everything changes. All a CEO seeks is on the table and there for the sumptuous ‘taking’.
Surely, it is the only reasonable option for the sentient, conscious CEO to choose?