Randy Siegel builds the people who build organizations.
Organizations hire Randy to transform high-potential employees into a new generation of leaders. Randy gives them the leadership and communications skills they need to rise through the organization.
CEOs hire Randy to help them become more charismatic leaders, spokespeople, and ambassadors for the organizations they serve.
His work is based upon a proprietary process that facilitates self-discovery to clarify personal perspective, true purpose, and professional image.
For more information, contact: Randy@buildyourleaders.com
Postcard from Asheville, N.C.
In my dream I have returned to my old public relations agency. I am helping one of my favorite account executives write new business proposals. Nancy seems to find my input helpful; it’s good to be with her again. It’s the end of the day and folks are leaving.
Several small dogs take off through an opening near the elevator. I go to explore. I discover a beautiful outdoor cookout area on the roof. No wonder people work late here.
Two women from accounting join me; one is carrying the top of a wedding cake. As we wander, we come upon a large green yard fronting a beautiful modern office belonging to an architecture firm. We walk through the sliding glass doors and are warmly greeted by several men whom I know. We proceed to the kitchen where we begin slicing the wedding cake for everyone. Will there be enough? I question. No problem, there’s plenty of food of everyone.
It was a pleasant dream, and like most dreams it contained a message. As I worked with it, I began to see its lesson: put relationships before work. The reminder came at the perfect time. I am in a new relationship, and this one feels different. It’s not so much him as it’s me. Never have I been more intentional before entering a relationship.
I am scared. But that’s only when I venture into the dark, uncertain future. When I focus on the present, it feels right. Whether our relationship lasts for a week, a month, or twenty years doesn’t matter. I pledge to stay present.
I’ve been writing a lot recently about life-work balance; the teacher teaches what he or she most needs to know. I write about the importance of establishing priorities. I realize my own priorities have been out of whack. Work has come first in my life.
It’s not going to be easy, I really do love my work, but now I want to put it second to the relationships in my life. Connection is what I truly crave.
This month, we’ll look at befriending time.
Last year was a banner year for my business. I opened a Washington office, hired a public relations firm, rebranded myself, developed new products, and ultimately exceeded my ambitious financial goals. But by the end of the year, I was exhausted. Exhilarated by success and fueled with adrenaline, I kept going until the Universe said, “Enough!” Within a month, I got two speeding tickets. Instead of slowing down, I bought the best radar detector money could buy and had it installed in the car. Finally, I caught the flu after Christmas. The “energizer bunny” stopped dead in its tracks.
My work-life balance was out of kilter, and my relationship with time had become adversarial. In 2007, I pledged to befriend time.
I began by journaling. What did it mean to befriend time? I wrote:
One: Become more present. Project less into the future and worry less about the past. Enjoy the gift the present presents. Yikes, I sound like a Hallmark card. This is so much easier to write than to implement, but like most things change begins with awareness.
One strategy that keeps me present is opening my eyes to the beauty around me. For example, I become present on the drive to the grocery store when I look up and see the mountains. Another strategy is to minimize distractions. When I eat, I can turn off the television and savor the food I am eating, and when driving, I can turn off the radio and become more aware of my surroundings. Finally, I can stop multi-tasking and focus on one task at a time.
Two: Prioritize. Stop feeling a hyper sense of urgency on everything. When I feel rushed say to myself, “Stop!” Take three deep cleansing breaths and prioritize. Look at the big picture. Constantly ask myself, does it really matter? Also, make leisure-time activities, such as volunteer work and painting, a high priority. Remember that work-life balance is critical to my happiness.
Three: Pause and check in with my body. Where am I carrying tension? Are my shoulders raised? How am I breathing? Shallow or deep? I read recently that if we take ten deep belly breaths twice a day, we enjoy the same benefits as an hour of yoga or meditation. When I find myself in a line, or in traffic, I am going to practice deep breathing.
Four: Never rush relationships. Constantly ask myself, what’s important here? In almost every case, it’s the people around me. Give people the gift of being present with them. Put people before activity. At the drug store, look at the cashier in the eye, smile, and connect.
Five: Guard against overscheduling. Allow space in between working with clients to process and reground. Limit travel to twice a month. Schedule time for quiet and introspection.
Six: Watch restlessness. When I become restless, break the routine. Get out of the house, work out of a coffee shop, take a walk, or work out. Follow my energy.
Seven: Use time wisely. Guard against wasting time on the computer. What I am really seeking is connection. Check in with a client or call a friend. I can also watch television less and read more.
In the past, I measured success by the check marks next to the items on my “to do” list. Activity defined accomplishment. Quality of life depends not so much on what I do, but how I do it.