So that’s it. Out. The End. I’ve achieved everything. It hardly goes any higher. I made it to the top. “And now?” I sat at my desk, looked around my office and … felt nothing. And I did not for such a long time. Was that everything? Was it worth all the effort?
That’s exactly how I felt a few years ago. From a hierarchical point of view, I had achieved (almost) everything that was possible: I was the CEO of a large organization and for years I had reassured myself over and over again through every operational crisis and the daily madness, “This is YOUR dream, you do everything for it and make a lot of sacrifices…“ For a long time I thought that this was the way it was and that I just had to go through it… until? Yes, until when?
I was worn out by the pressure that came from all sides, but also by the often short-term and frequently changing demands of the various stakeholders in the company, who kept shaping MY daily work. The job itself, which looked like the dream of my life from a distance, was characterized by boring routines, control of work processes and constant trouble shooting moments when viewed up close. I was constantly busy keeping the business running, but not moving it forward, because I had no more capacity for that. The creative freedom that I once had and that made the CEO position so attractive to me was gone. I exchanged it for short-term management of daily problems or dealing with the whims of the bosses and thus ruined the playground where I used to get so creative, had new ideas and drove innovative projects. I myself was constantly driven, extremely under operational stress and it had become lonely around me. To top it all off, I was bored with the routines.
And I know from many conversations that I am not alone with this feeling, but that many executives feel the same or similar.
At that time, the desire for fundamental change germinated in me, which I did not want to admit to myself for a long time. But my questions of meaning made it more and more difficult for me to cope with my tasks with passion. Was it all so desirable? The answer is very clear: no. What for? No money, no status and no power in the world is enough to compensate for all of this. Admitting that in that moment in time wasn’t easy. Leaving traditional paths takes a lot of courage and strength. I was able to muster that up when the pressure of suffering and my dissatisfaction grew and I just wanted to shout: “Stop! I want to set the course for myself again and not let others or the circumstances do it. ”It was an inner need of unspeakable greatness for freedom and therefore to be able to shape my reality again myself. A restart and re-navigation process was growing in me which led me out of the confines and into a new, best version of me, in the direction of my true greatness and purpose. It quickly became clear to me that this change would not be available for free. My own journey took me to the point where I am now and, based on my own experience, support other C-level executives to navigate their own development and to find new dimensions within their companies or other parts of our society. I know what it feels like to think you’re the only one who’s lonely and empty. But it is not true. There are many of us. And the good news is: it doesn’t have to stay that way, we ourselves can actively and self-determinedly shape our future in a positive and valuable way. Trust yourself!