Dear CEO: 3 signs you’ve lost that lovin’ feelin’ 

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Have you ever woken up in the morning and just dreaded going to work? 

What if you’re the CEO of the company—the person who should be the most passionate, have the most vision for his or her work day in and day out? Shouldn’t you naturally be inspired by what you’re doing for your own company?

The simple answer is: yes, CEOs should feel energized by the work they’re doing. But that’s not always the case. 

Sometimes CEOs just lose that lovin’ feelin’ about their work. There can be many reasons for this, but here are a few tell-tale signs that it might be time to do a post-mortem on your work life:

It sucks the life out of you.

Energy is the natural byproduct of passion. When you’re doing that thing you feel most called to, most inspired by, there is a natural overflow of energy and vision and excitement. That doesn’t mean you never feel tired or beat down, but if you have the right balance in place, a true passion and calling isn’t easily dismissed.

You’re no longer learning, you’re just doing.

The most important role for any CEO is the one of learner. If you’re not conducting regular learning-and-listening tours with your customers and employees, you’re setting yourself up for a burnout. In order to maintain your energy and passion, speak to the people who are in the thick of the service or product your company provides.

Your focus is only on money.

When a CEO has lost his or her vision, a clear tell-tale sign can be found in what they spend their time on. If it’s all about finances, returns, investors, this is a slippery slope. Focusing on processes and results is not compelling and tends to erode employee excitement for the (real) mission. 

Go back to the beginning

Did you identify with any of the points above? If so, I invite you to think back to the beginning of your company. What mattered then? What inspired you? 

How did you get to where you are today? Is it possible there was an obstacle that showed up in the business, and it caused you to take a detour? Is there a senior person on your team that’s causing problems? 

Do some digging and ask yourself where the passion went. When we’re doing the work that we’re uniquely gifted to do, there is an abundance of energy to show up, to tackle hard things and to grow. If you feel stuck, don’t hesitate to reach out to me. I’d love to be a sounding board.