4 Common Problems Holding You Back Professionally (That Most CEOs Never Understand)

Apr 4, 2012 | Business

So last week we talked about turning your passion into a career. But what if you already have a job you enjoy? How can you maximize your potential and set a new standard for excellence in your position?

Well, there are four things you have to take care of before you can reach your full potential at the office. And here’s the kicker—most CEOs completely miss these things because they’re all about what’s going on outside the office.

If someone asked you, “What’s the most important thing in your life?” how would you answer? If you have a spiritual life, 99% of the time you’re going to answer, “God.” If you don’t have a spiritual life, 99% of the time you’re going to answer, “My family.” So, 99% of the time, family is going to be #1 or #2 in terms of importance.

“My career,” or, “My job,” will be the answer less than 1% of the time. And that’s what most CEOs just don’t get.

If you want to get the most out of your career, or you’re an employer wanting to get the most out of your employees, there are 4 things outside the office that must be taken care of in order for you to reach peak performance in the office:

  1. Marriage/Relationship.Your marriage doesn’t have to be horrible to affect your performance at the office. All it takes is a problem big enough to nag at your mind a little bit. Something’s up. Something’s not quite right. Until you have a healthy marriage, your work performance will be lacking.
  2. Issues with children.And I’m not even saying they have to be little kids. I encounter many more people having issues with adult children than people having problems with their little kids. If you’re a parent you understand the old principle—we can only be as happy as our unhappiest child. If you have an unhappy child, it’s hard to concentrate on anything else.
  3. Personal finances.If you’re worrying about bills and feel like you have no control of your finances, you’re not capable of doing your best work. It’s as simple as that.
  4. Personal fulfillment.You’re unfulfilled and feel what you’re doing with your life doesn’t matter. You’re searching for purpose. (If this is the problem, see here.)

If you’re struggling or lagging behind from where you want to be professionally, improvement starts with sorting out your personal life. If you’re an employer, improving your employees’ performance starts with their personal lives. All the company training in the world won’t change an unhappy marriage or a wayward child.

So just remember, a well-rounded life comes from a well-rounded time investment strategy. Don’t think you can separate home from the office. You may succeed at it for a little while, but sooner or later your personal life will begin to erode your professional life. As human beings, we are built for balance.

Have you noticed a change in your professional life when you’ve solved a personal problem in the past? How have personal problems affected your work performance in the past, or presently? What was your solution?


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