CEO Coaching: Nothing Happens Next. This Is It!

I frequently speak with people who feel they haven’t achieved exactly what they want. It might be business success, career success, income, skill, or lack of joy. We often work on a plan to get what they want. It’s not my job to tell people what they should want. (Unless they’re family. Then it’s my sworn duty to try to control their lives and tell them how to do everything!) 

However, sometimes after some exploration, we end up in a place where the already successful person (by all external measures) starts questioning their goal. They start embracing success rather than perfection. 

Their ability to reframe the issue doesn’t happen overnight. It takes some discussion of values and what’s truly important to them. Not what their mommy or daddy or spouse wants them to be. (Unless they’re in my family. Then they should listen to me.)

A recent conversation with a small-company CEO hit home for me. He initially questioned why he wasn’t running a larger company. Why he wasn’t making a million dollars annually in income. Interestingly, he had many things going his way. He had lots of flexibility. He was doing wonderful volunteer work. He had a great relationship at home. He had recently given a speech at his alma mater that facilitated lots of fundraising. Initially, he was frustrated that he couldn’t write the million-dollar donation himself, but he came to realize that his ability to influence others was far more important. 

This CEO’s ability to reframe his situation will bring a lot more joy to his life. He didn’t change his position, company, lifestyle, or income. He changed his perspective. 

The title of this missive is from a New Yorker cartoon. I don’t want to violate copyright interests, so you’ll have to put up with a description. Two monks—one old, one young—are sitting together in lotus position wearing monk robes. The young monk looks confused. The old monk looks angry and disgusted and says to the young monk, “Nothing happens next. This is it!” 

Maybe you truly do want to change your situation in life. Good for you! Create a plan and get it done. But maybe for some of you, this is it—and that’s grand!

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