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Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap...And Others Don't , Jim Collins
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Hi everyone. My name's Dex Randall and this is the Burnout to Leadership podcast, where I teach professional men to recover from burnout and get back to passion and reward at work. Hello my friends, this is Dex. And I'm very glad you're here again this week for an episode on Recession proofing Your Career. And it really did seem like right now is a good time to talk about that. But when you hear that, if your first response, if you're in burnout, it might seem like a tall order. It's a real topic for our times, but what I'm going to do is I'm going to talk to you today about how you can surf the waves of difficult times, regardless of how bad you feel at work right now, it can be sorted. So I know many people post COVID are in an environment of increased risk at work. And there's more quiet quitting, there's more quiet firing as well. More cost blowouts, more debt, more aggressive sales and performance targets, more micro management, more red tape, more budget cuts, wage freezes, hiring freezes, and mass redundancies. And as I'm making this, it's November 2022, we're in the aftermath of Elon Musk's Twitter takeover, seeing him immediately lay off his board and some of his senior executives, slashing up to 50% of his workforce, and removing work from home privileges from those who remain. And really, this radical upset has sparked fears of a dot com 2.0, or whatever you want to call it. And we're seeing some signs of that here in Australia. Tech giants like Atlassian and Canva are losing a lot of market values last week. And is this, as some people are touting, the end of an era for big tech? Because Silicon Valley, I see, has laid off a total of 20,000 employees in the last week, according to The Guardian. Meta, Facebook, payments platform Stripe, Salesforce, and Lyft all laid off at least 10% of their workforce. Tesla, Microsoft, Shopify, Netflix have also been shedding staff. And Google and Amazon have hiring freezes. And I'm talking about big tech here, because tech is my background, and also because they're the people who are making news this week. But other sectors are, of course, similarly affected, as you know, on top of kind of the COVID tailback impact on business and commerce. And I work, for example, with a number of physicians whose profitability is being eroded by things like rising costs, increased red tape and compliance, loss of staff availability, and also the squeeze of insurance. So whatever industry you're in, I'm sure you're feeling the pinch like everybody else. There's a big adjustment happening. We know it. And of course, at home, surging power, fuel, and food prices, the rocky stock market, dropping property prices, fluctuating currencies, surging inflation, rising interest rates, increased national debt. I had a look today, US now stands at 31 trillion. That's 93,000 per person. Anyway, that budget deficits, political instability, it's all creating a little bit of a perfect storm. We're all teetering, it seems, on the brink of recession. And these days, that is much more likely to be global, not local. When I even wrote that list down, just prompt myself what I was playing with here. It sounds like a shit fight, doesn't it? But here's one thing, I'm kind of reassured myself our economies are going to keep rolling. Basic services and commodities are going to remain in demand. Of course, they are. People are still going to want and actually need discretionary items like vacations, travel, designer goods, cars. Discretionary spending, I think, is actually quite immovable fees. They're still going to buy and renovate property. In fact, at the moment, Australia's in a renovation boom since COVID, and that continues on. Recession or no recession as well, people are still going to make money. Someone is going to make money out of there. And if we look at burst times, that's when a lot of Fortune 500 companies were built. Throughout a burst time and recession time, seizing new opportunities to stand out, centering back on their core values, like stocks on their fundamentals, cash flow, return on investment, value proposition. And I'm going to bet that you were never in the mass market anyway. Whatever you do for a living, you're more likely to be a top 10% kind of person, a premium kind of service provider. If you're here listening to this, you're almost certainly a Taipei high achiever. You're a player. You're aiming at the top sector of the market. And guess what? Quality pays, it always will. And I'm thinking today about Jim Collins books, including Good to Great, which is a favorite of mine, where he examined, What makes a business in any sector constantly outperform its rivals, constantly grow year on year. And you actually, as a Taipei person, have the attributes of a person who will succeed in a tough market. You have the intelligence, foresight, strategic thinking, experience, skill, desire to serve and to excel. You're actually very well placed, until it comes to burnout. So if you're in burnout, I reckon right now, you're probably pretty exhausted and pissed off, a little bit resentful that it's all so hard, probably angry and irritable that you're not as successful as you think you should be. And your boss or your colleagues or your clients are behaving like annoying brats and expecting you to fix every single thing that's wrong in their opinion. And probably you've pretty much stopped wanting to get up in the morning and face that whole charade. You want to surf the waves of outrageous fortune, but you haven't quite got it like that at the moment. Taking arms against a sea of troubles and by opposing, end them, probably seems a touch out of reach. So if a recession is coming, my friends in burnout, you need to be in better shape. If a recession is your chance to stand out, you need at least to be standing up and being counted when that happens, when it arrives. And it saddens me to see good people in burnout at the best of times. But now, the best way to recession proof your career, your income, your business is to gently rise back to the surface, to be buoyant, as I call it. And to do that really is, so that you can lead the charge and be really intentional with your survival strategy in lean times. You really need to do that now before the shit hits the fan. I mean, it's pretty much hitting the fan if you... Well, it depends who you ask at the moment, but it's going to get worse. We know this. And that's precisely why this is a terrific time to deal with all the things that are wearing you out. Long hours, frustration, stress, worry, exhaustion, dread, a whole nine yards. Because this is why I say to people who come to me, thinking they've lost their mojo or their work life balance, or just their sense of humor and their will to do anything useful. Here's what I say. I ask them to tell me everything that's not working right for them at the moment. All of it, all the pain points. And then I ask them, what's the biggest problem? Because that's the one we'll need to fix first. But actually, when I've listened to them, what I want to do is I want to fix all the problems they've told me. And these people want to bounce back. Maybe you do too. I hope so. And they come to see me to help them with that. So I ask them, if they came to see me, what would have to happen during our work together to make it worth it for them? Because that's the real goal. Whatever they think is most important for them, whatever they want back, that's the one I want to help them achieve. And usually by the time people come to me, they're pretty much in despair, but really they just want to feel better. They want to find a reason to go on, not wake up in anxious dread in the mornings, kind of burdened by the futility and despair. I had a CFO client recently with severe and persistent anxiety. In fact, he was having panic attacks and he was worried about having a heart attack. And if you've heard my story, that's what happened to me at age 55 when I went into burnout. Anyway, he was on sick leave from his job as a result of these panic attacks. And he didn't know if he'd ever be able to go back. Actually, he was pretty shaken by the whole thing. And that level of difficulty isn't unusual. So if you're really struggling, don't worry. It can be fixed. It can be reversed. Anyway, for him, his ultimate goal was to reduce morning anxiety from 7 out of 10 to 2 out of 10. To go to work and feel engaged, to feel excited to get up in the morning and do good things for his organization. And to finish work at the end of the day feeling good about what he'd achieved and then go home and be present to his wife and kids. Turning off the worry, just basically being able to recharge and experience joy again. So we agreed that during our work together, we would use all of that as his goal. And when clients commit to a goal, I commit to it with them. So here's what happened for him. He was back at work within three weeks. His anxiety was down to 4 out of 10. And he went to full time at five weeks. And he went on to recruit, rebuild, and retrain his two finance teams. He hired a new financial controller. In fact, he had hired two. The first one didn't quite stick. He reinvigorated or refreshed his team culture to get people working together. And at the last time we spoke, he was actually shooting for a really major uplift in team results. He had no further sign of panic attacks. And his anxiety was down from 7 out of 10 to 2 out of 10 as a kind of baseline. In fact, what he was doing is, he was using his experience of those panic attacks as a way to connect with others in his team who were also feeling pressure at work. And he's a heck of a mentor and inspiration to them. And now he's back in love with his job and he's doing great. And here's at the end of our work together... Here's what he told me via email. I'll just read his email to you. He said, "I really can't thank you enough for helping me get back on track and be the best version of me. You were a light during a very dark time and helped me more than you know. I'm so thankful that you're helping me and others going through burnout and I'll continue to work with my CEO for options on how we might have you help our teams." So that... If I could show you a picture of him in the beginning and at the end. I think he's just maybe described it prettywell. Anyway, here's what I know:
If you're listening to this and you're in burnout, it is possible that your hackles will have gone up a number of times during what you've listened to so far. Because from my own burnout experience, and from the courageous people who do reach out to me for help, I know that it's really hard to do. It's really hard to reach out for help. It's hard to ask. And then I'm talking to you. I didn't want to reach out myself. And anyway, I actually didn't know anyone who could help. And I didn't want anyone to know I was in trouble. I didn't want anyone to find out. So I kept it to myself and it didn't do me any good. I quit my job and had a heart attack. So really, I think of it like this, for anybody who's a type A personality, it's very hard being invincible. We're used to being invincible, right? We're used to conquering every challenge. We're used to solving every problem ourselves. We are actually hyper autonomous. But in the end, if hyper autonomy takes you to burnout, loneliness, chronic stress, ill health, and a heart attack, well, what's the point? We actually do as humans need each other. And one of the reasons you're so pissed off, I bet, is that you're not enjoying people anymore, including probably your loved ones. People are just aggravating you, yeah? But underneath all of that, if do you wind your clock back a little bit, you'd secretly like to be getting on better with them. Maybe you've got a history of getting on much better with people. I bet you'd like to do that, wouldn't you? You'd probably like to hang out with a couple of mates. You'd probably like to have a laugh with your team, shoot around some good ideas. And I'm betting you'd also like to get on better with your partner and kids and enjoy spending time with them. Well, here's the good news. Enjoyment of people is one of the biggest turnarounds you'll get when you recover from burnout, because the exhaustion and the irritability is in you. When you're at the end of your rope, that's how you are, right? It's not in them. They probably want the old you back as much as you do. But anyway, right now, angry as you probably are, and a bit worried about being seen with your pants down, so to speak, it is hard to reach out. I know this. And believe me, I'm going to be on your side from day one. I want you to come back to your own power. And I'm very sympathetic to how you feel right now. I've been there. And funnily enough, right from the off, I will be able to see your massive power and abilities and good heart. I'm very intuitive. I can read people's hidden energy. So I believe in you in advance of you believing in yourself. That's how this works. And even better, I know exactly how to steer you to being the fully great version of you. It's kind of my one thing that I do. And I know where you're at. And I know how to get you back to your peak. In fact, beyond your previous peak, it's an individual journey. And it's different for each person. But I'll take you there. So if for a moment you can suspend your disbelief that that's available for you, just think about this. If you could get back to being strong and resilient again, which I assure you you can, unafraid, a potent force back on the deck. Think about how becoming that person will safeguard your career, your reputation, your income potential, your future. Think how it's going to restore your professional and personal relationships, your marriage and your relationship with your kids if you have them. Think how it's going to keep your assets safe, your home, your car, the kids' education, your investments, your retirement. How it's going to protect your health from chronic stress, insomnia, anxiety, digestive problems, heart problems, diabetes even, and so on. Think how it's going to reduce addictive coping strategies you have, like overeating, overdrinking, gambling, porn, what's up... All the other ones. Think how it's going to increase your concentration, memory and problem solving abilities quite protectively as you go on. It'll bring back your core values, your fundamentals, bring inspiration and creativity back to working with others, fill you with a sense of purpose and camaraderie. It basically put the fun back in life. And also it's going to let you reinvent your contribution onwards from here, your big goals, your new adventures, even your legacy. It's going to put you back in charge of your destiny and it's going to create the resilience you need for future challenges. And the shorthand I use for that is you're going to get your mojo back in full. How much you've lost, you can have it back and more. And of course, all of this, when it comes, which it will, is future proofing you in times of change. It's going to safeguard you. It gives you the competitive advantage. Your performance is going to stand out and speak for itself. So if you'd like to make the leap, you just need to be briefly courageous. You can have a transformation like my CFO client. All my clients have a transformation like that. He's not a unicorn. All of them go beyond their previous best and particularly expand their leadership skills. If you want your eyes to open in the morning without hurting and without any dread or panic setting in, if you want your career to be in massive resurgence, if you want your work to become much easier and take up a lot less time and energy, if you want better results with less anxiety, stress, frustration, irritation, if you want to feel like you're back in charge, if you want to enjoy having people around you and even supporting them because it'll become easier and easier, and most of all, if you want to future proof yourself, your value, your career through a potential downturn or whatever else the future throws at you,do this:
Book a call with me now at dexrandall.com. The link's in the show notes. Tell me about all your work shit. Tell me what's pissing you off and let's make a plan to fix it. Don't wait hoping things are going to turn out thinking that you will fix it yourself. If you think that what you're doing there is strategic pessimism, keeping yourself afloat until things take a turn for the better, how's that working out so far? How long do you think you've been in burnout or experiencing whatever you've got, chronic stress, overburden, loss of joy, loss of work life balance, how long has that been happening for you? And how much longer do you want to stay like that? A lot of people come to me and they've been in burnout or something like burnout for their entire professional career and yet they come and work with me they are out. Unfortunately though, I've never seen a type A person fix their own burnout and that's me included. They just get exhausted and keep going harder and harder digging a deeper and deeper hole and on the way ruining their own health and their own career. It's like... I think of it like this, it's like your nuts are in a vice and you're turning the handle the wrong way. You need someone else to come along and turn it the other way and I can do that for you. If you focus instead on your goal of recovering from burnout and what you can control to do that, where do you think you're going to be in a month or six months in the future? And if you do nothing, where will you be then in six months and what's that going to cost you? Or even a year, two years, you'll still be in the same pickle. The coaching I do then really is to bring people out of burnout and to boost their professional career, performance, leadership capacity, ability to choose what they'd like to do next. It really is a boost for ambition and ability to achieve ambition, whatever that ambition is. You probably can't see that now if you're in burnout, you just want to stop feeling like shit. I understand that. But this coaching is recession proofing. It's career accelerating and you'll be thriving long after others have given up. But really all of this happens because what coaching does is it brings you back to life. There's an enjoyment and a vitality that springs back that you might've thought you'd lost forever. But that's the CFO that I was speaking about a minute ago. He was back in harness at work. No more panic attacks, anxiety at 4 out of 10 in just three weeks. And then he went on to achieve many, many more things after that. But three weeks, okay? So whatever your state is possible, give me a call. There's a link at the end of this episode. You must come and talk to me about how to recover quickly and sustainably from burnout and stress and anxiety and overwork and come back to your best performance, best leadership and most of all enjoyment inside work and out. Thanks for being here today. I will talk to you again. If you're in burnout and ready to recover, come and join my Burnout to Leadership Program. You can book in to talk with me at burnout.dexrandall.com. Just tell me what's bugging you and let's make a plan to fix it.