If You’re an Executive, Consider a Personal Retreat — BY YOURSELF!

By Lisa Purichia
Partner, Director of Accounting Services & Retirement Plan Services

In Stephen Covey’s seminal business book, The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, there is a chapter about “sharpening your saw.” It tells of a lumberjack who is trying to cut down a large tree but not making much progress because of his saw’s dull blade. Someone suggests that he should stop and sharpen the blade to expedite his work, but he believes the time lost in the process will prevent him from completing the task in a timely manner.

Unfortunately, a lot of leaders in business reflect the beliefs of this short-sighted tradesman. They focus on working harder, not smarter. They’re too busy working in their business rather than on their business. They believe taking time for strategic thinking is a “luxury” that can be avoided, as there are too many “busy” things that must be done ASAP.

If you’re a business owner or executive, consider taking a personal retreat this summer (YES, all alone by yourself) so you can step back from your office and see it from a fresh, outside perspective. Go hiking in a state park for a couple of days or spend a weekend at a resort. As you’re hitting the trails or sunbathing by the pool, reflect on what you’re doing successfully as a business leader and what you could do differently. There may be blind spots in your leadership style that create barriers to greater success. Are there any departments in your organization which are growing dull like the lumberjack’s blade? It will probably be easier to assess yourself honestly while you’re relaxed, outside of your normal business environment and less distracted by all the “noise” of your business operations. Think of this time as a therapy session on a shrink’s couch — a chance to improve as a person, spouse or business owner and to find greater personal satisfaction.

If you look back over the past 12 months and cannot list at least five actions where you attempted a new approach, attended a class or broadened your insights into your company, are you any different than the frustrated subject in the initial paragraph?

In addition to a long vacation, consider this short personal retreat this summer — treat it like a business task but just not in the office. Don’t feel guilty. Quiet time alone is a necessity in this era of constant communication and 24/7 work. Trust us — taking some time away will improve your time at work, your focus for yourself and your personal happiness!

For further assistance with your personal or business matters, please contact Lisa Purichia at (317) 608-6693 or email lpurichia@sponselcpagroup.com.