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                What is keeping you up at night?

                Michelle Sales/03 July 2023
                1 minute read time

                It’s 2am and I’m awake again. The longer I lay there looking up at the ceiling the more stressed I become that I won’t be able to function tomorrow. I’ve got another full day and I want to show up at my best and yet, here I am not getting the rest I so badly need.

                Are you in a similar situation? I know I’m not alone and I want to make it ok to talk about this, to connect with others that are also having issues that keep them awake. I don’t know about you but this is not the first time and I reckon it won’t be the last so I wonder.

                What is keeping you awake at night?

                I’m not talking babies, blue light or booze. Leadership, equal parts privilege and responsibility. Often thought of as a lonely place, as a leader, you carry a big load for others but you are not alone. Yes, you have the responsibility to develop and mentor, to role model and motivate, to set things in motion and keep accountability for progress. Being a leader is no walk in the park, granted, so no wonder some have trouble sleeping well at night.

                But if 30-50% of CEOs fail to live up to performance expectations within their first 18 months (McKinsey Quarterly, The Five-fifty, Feb 2023), how to make it to the other side of that percentage and not die trying may be playing on your mind.

                A problem shared is a problem halved.

                So we launched a survey this week about the possible root causes of your insomnia. If only I’d … spoken up, prepared better, delegated more… many of these come up in my coaching with leaders. Imagine what it’s like to have 65,000 thoughts a day, how do you prioritise? Indeed, competing priorities and load is another of the themes you picked. Ultimately, there’s no denying the looming question of uncertainty and change all around us. What worries you most?

                Nothing, I’m too exhausted.

                A thought for those that choose this option. We’re concerned. This may be the most worrying in fact. Happy you’re not sharing our insomnia but collapsing out of sheer exhaustion can’t be healthy or sustainable leadership either.

                Going to the heart of what is keeping you awake at night as a leader is what we’re focusing on this month. It is important for us to hear you so that we can better guide and support you. And it is important for others to hear you too, so that they know it is not just them, it is not a big thing necessarily, but rather a common denominator for many. Possibly the most common of all for leaders of all levels alike.

                If being a leader requires you showing up at your best, we need to tackle what is getting in the way of your rest and recovery time.

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                Michelle Sales/03 July 2023