By Seth Streeter, MS, CFP®
CEO and Founder of Mission Wealth
As a leader, in both business and community circles, I’ve enjoyed getting to know other leaders on an intimate level. I find it fascinating to get inside a leader’s head, to see what fuels them, scares them and awakens them to live a life of risk, exposure and potential reward.
Over the last two years I’ve facilitated small group workshops for CEOs, to help them find greater purpose, balance and impact, but to also try and satiate my personal fascination with the CEO species. And what I’m discovering, are themes that I think the major public would be shocked by.
These men and women, who many see as the luckiest, smartest, richest, most powerful members of our community, are struggling. Not struggling in the sense of basic human needs — as they all eat plenty and have a roof over their heads with modern comforts. But struggling in a life of imbalance, or a life so hurried, that joy and meaning have taken a back seat.
Many CEOs I have met are caught in the whirl of over-commitments, pressures from analysts or their board and ongoing HR challenges. They perpetually feel behind with endless emails, meetings and travel while they miss a greater connection to their spouse and kids at home. They fantasize about having time to pick up the guitar again, a book for pleasure or just meeting an old friend for dinner. They see their health declining yet they don’t prioritize caring for their body as they should. As big creators, they want to make an impact on the world, to help humanity or the planet, yet their time and talent to do this are diluted by an ongoing assembly line of fire-drills. Many of these leaders long for deeper peace and spiritual connection but they find themselves running in the opposite direction.
The silver lining to this is tremendous! These CEOs are ripe and ready for awareness and change. And they are the type of people who CAN make change happen. Not just within themselves, but within their organizations, families and community as well. When a CEO gets the “ah ha” moment, a ripple-effect occurs where service, kindness and creative expression replace no pain, no gain productivity mandates. My work in this area is just developing, and many others are far ahead of me, but I am excited to see where this shift will take us.
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