Who Motivates the Motivators

Strategies to stay in “Peak State” when you’re the motivator


Leadership can be a really lonely place. Because I've sat in the CEO seat at a variety of companies, I’ve learned that the mood of the leader is typically the mood of the team. When the leader is having a bad day, and we all have them, they can literally send their team into a tailspin for hours, days, or weeks and that is not good for you or your business value. When the leader is at the top of the organization, where can they turn to snap out of a bad day, and return to what Tony Robbins calls ‘peak state’ - where you operate at a higher level – and inspire others to do the same.

Here are some things I do to stay in Peak State.

Start by recognizing that your mood is a choice. If circumstances lead you to be in a bad mood, recognize that is a choice that you're making. Read a few articles on emotional intelligence to help you identify the triggers and learn to overcome those things that send your mood in the wrong direction. Take care of yourself. Anyone who knows me knows that I’m not the healthiest guy on the planet by a long shot. I like great beer and if eating were an Olympic sport, I would have more medals than Michael Phelps. However, I do try to take care of myself by making some healthy choices regarding meals and snacks - “keto-friendly” I call it. I exercise at least 5 days a week (sometimes just walking briskly around the block) and I pay attention to my sleep cycles so I can get enough rest each night. I get up at 5 AM every day, drink plenty of water, read, get some work done, hit the road for a 1 to 3 mile run, shower and back at my desk by 8 AM. When I skip the exercise, I lose energy by mid-day and my mood reflects it.


Feed your mind. Read. A lot. I am a voracious reader, but like most people, I find it hard to set aside the time to read as much as I want to. That’s why I turned to Audible. I can listen to books when I drive or when I exercise - using the time that I’m doing other things to feed my mind. Tony Robbins calls that NET time - No Extra Time - and it’s brilliant. The amount of driving and exercising I do, I can typically “read” a book a week on Audible. And, if I really like a book, I’ll by the paper copy and use it to make notes. Get Away. Many times business owners think they can’t afford to get out of the office for an afternoon, much less take time for a vacation. I have taken a minimum of 2 weeks together every year (in addition to other vacations) to really clear my head and give me back my focus and mojo. I personally think everyone should to that - get away for 2 weeks, turn off the electronics, connect with your family, make memories, and recharge. At a bare minimum, whenever you feel like you’re going to lob a grenade into your team’s foxhole, treat yourself to mid-week golf outing (or whatever you enjoy) to get your head in the right place to lead the people. Build a circle of advisors. Who is in your “inner circle” - the people you really trust, can turn to when you have challenges, and who respond to your needs with really solid advice? Your inner circle can take any number of forms:


  • A friend you can call any time to grab lunch or a cup of coffee or a beer to talk through your challenges.

  • A trusted employee or two, who can keep your secrets.

  • An outside advisor group - like Vistage or a mastermind.

  • A formal board of advisors or board of directors - that meets regularly to discuss your business and your challenges, and whose members are on-call as needed.

The Magic Bullet. OK - I actually have a magic bullet that works every time I need to lift my mood. I call it my “Pick Me Up” file, and it’s been with me

for most of my career. It has a prominent place in my office, near the front of a desk drawer. This ragged file goes with me wherever I sit in the CEO seat, and currently, it’s in my desk right-side file drawer in my home office.


Whenever I need to pull myself up and I know that I don't have anywhere else to turn or I don't have time because I urgently need to get to peak state, then I pull out my magic bullet. Think of it as an emergency mood changer. My Pick Me Up file includes handwritten notes, cards, letters, and other memorabilia that made me feel on top of the world whenever I received them. I’ve got notes of praise from employees and mentors, thank you notes for something I did that really impacted someone, and card creations from my kids that span the course of my career. And I still add to it. I encouraged my employees to do this everywhere I've worked and I have had many follow my lead and show me their pick me up file when I am in their neck of the woods. It works! Whenever I need it, my magic bullet cures my mood in a nanosecond. I don’t have to flip very far to totally transform my mind.


So, stop right now, and go create your pick me up file.


Find a few emails or cards, or ask your kid to draw you a picture to put in it. Then, going forward, save anything that puts you at peak state in the file. Email or call me if you want a few of my samples. Message me on LinkedIn or on our Facebook Page or email me or call my cell and tell me your hacks to getting into your peak state. Staying in peak state can dramatically improve your business value because you’ll be more productive, and you can keep your team motivated. And remember, we’re here to help. If we can help you in any way don’t hesitate to reach out! #PeakState #PickMeUpFile #MaximizeBusinessValue






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