How Do You Do it?

About a week or so ago, I was waiting to pick up my kids from school as I engaged in conversation with a group of parents waiting to pick their kids up as well, when I was asked How do you do it? Naturally, I replied with the same question – how do I do what? And the gentleman asked – How do you guys (CEO’s ),  remain so calm cool and collective under duress?

Luis A. White Jr. CEO

By this time I have a smile from ear to ear, the poor guy probably thought I was crazy, but I said, can you say Oscar time? We have to be good actors, you have to fake it, hide your real feeling from your employees, never let them see that you are about to loose it.  Naturally, there is more to this, than just “faking it”.

Surround your self with good people:  I’m a firm believer in, “find the talent, and delegate — then,  follow up“. I’m sure that at some point in your career you have heard the phrase — “you are only as good as the people you surround your self with”. Ideally, have three or four members of management very close to you to help carry the workload.

Have at least one advisor:  This person must be someone that you can talk to about anything that stresses you out — this confidant should be your most trusted advisor, whoever this may be.

Take breaks — note that I used the word Breaks, this is very important for your sanity, I swim and take long walks to think. Make sure you take your break away from the office, and as many as you need. Never make a decision wile you are upset or out of anger, never write that what the hell were you thinking; email, before you take a break to clear your mind and organize your thoughts. While we are on the subject of breaks, it brings me to my next point.

Take a VACATION: This is the hardest thing for us as CEO’s to do, to be fair, it may not happen for a long time, a couple of years maybe, until you know that the business is running on all cylinders, but you must take one, and not a vacation where you spend half your day writing memos, sending emails, or texting back and forth with the team, you need to unplug completely — just have one person know where and how to reach you, and only in case, it’s absolutely necessary for them to do so, empower someone to be in charge, and spend some quality time with your family.

Remember where and what, I was doing at the beginning of this blog? Well I was there in the middle of the day because the day before, my little guy asked his mother, why dad never comes to pick me and my brother up from school? It was at that moment that I said to my self, there is no better reason to cancel or reschedule a meeting, Than To Pick your Kid Up From School or  Back To School Night. We could not do the job we do, without the support of our loved ones. So make sure to do whatever you need to do to stay connected and in touch with your spouse, and especially your children.

Last but not least, always take care of your self, physically and mentally, you can’t take care of anyone or anything, none the less a business if you can’t take care of your self. Take power naps, close your eyes for five minutes, keep a treadmill in the office if need be. Do whatever you have to do, to get rid of stress, by the way, coffee also works — as long as you have it away from the office.

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