If you’re struggling with your Mental Health today – think about how you can become a CEO in your sales role.
This means becoming a Chief “Energy” Officer.
In his book The Positive Leader, Jan Muhlfeit explains how important managing your energy is to ensure you’re RESPONDING rather than REACTING to situations.
Responding to situations means we’re using the logical part of our Human Brain that helps us keep perspective and allows us to present the best possible outcome. Ideal for workplace decisions, interactions and selling effectively.
Reacting to situations means our highly emotional Monkey Brain has taken over. We’re making decisions based off the emotions we’re feeling in the moment like fear, anger or sadness. Using this brain is Ideal for dangerous Fight or Flight situations and usually damaging in the workplace.
If we’re not mindful of our energy levels, the Monkey brain usually takes over.
The Monkey Brain is much stronger and operates 5X faster, so we need a lot of energy to keep it in control – especially when we are stressed.
When we’re a bad CEO, we run out of energy to do this. This is especially true when we have not slept well and our Human brain is tired. Research from the book Why We Sleep showed there is well over a 60% amplification in emotional reactivity in participants who were sleep deprived.
Today be mindful of how you’re spending your energy. Here are three tips to help you become a better CEO.
1 – Work Like a Cheetah to Become a CEO
Our bodies work best when we work in a series of sprints – similar to a Cheetah.
We have biological cycles that repeat throughout the day called ultradian rhythms. These periods are longer than an hour but shorter than a day and help regulate energy, mood and cognitive function. Everyone’s peaks during the day will occur at slightly different times but usually follow the same cadence:
A 90 minute period of High Performance where you’re in a state of alertness, creative and experience high emotional resilience. Followed by a 20 minute period of Rest & Recovery where your mind needs to cycle down and take a break.
Sure there will be times when we’re well rested and relaxed where we can stretch this high performance period. However the longer you’re pushing your Human Brain without letting it rest, the more tired it will become, giving space for the Monkey to take over.
Given that sales is ripe with uncertainty, blindsides and Mental Health trigger events – keeping the Human Brain rested is critical. Last thing you want to do is push yourself to focus for 3 hours straight and then leave yourself emotionally vulnerable to an unexpected deal falling through.
The anger, frustration or sadness you’ll face will be way more intense as the Monkey Brain takes over.
On days when you have not slept well, it’s especially important to be mindful of these two competing brains. Consider shortening the 90 minute period down to 45 – 60 minutes to ensure you are building more rest periods into your day. This will help protect the Human Bran and keep your emotions under control.
2- Stop Multitasking
Multitasking is a myth and one of the most ineffective ways to work throughout the day.
When we multitask – it means we are rapidly shifting our focus between multiple tasks. We’re writing a proposal for a client, responding to an email and listening to our colleague pitch two desks down. Working on all three tasks at the same time creates an illusion of being “productive”. In reality we’re being a bad CEO and burning through our energy resources inefficiently.
Neuroscientist Daniel Levitin explains how shifting our attention from one activity to another causes the Human Brain to burn up oxygenated glucose. This is the same fuel we need to stay on task and control the Monkey Brain.
What this means is shifting our attention has a cost. When we wake up each day we start with an allowance or set amount of “Attention Currency” we can spend throughout the day. On days when we’re stressed or have not slept well we have less currency to spend.
When we’re multitasking – every time we shift our attention and focus to a new task we’re spending this currency. Doing this rapidly across several tasks in a short period of time uses A LOT of currency quickly. This means we run out of this valuable Attention Currency before the end of the day.
Our Human Brain is broke. If a deal falls through at 4pm or we get stuck in traffic – our Monkey Brain steps into the driver seat.
Becoming a CEO requires us to limit how much multitasking we’re doing during our 90 minute sprints. Work like a Cheetah chasing an animal – block out distractions and try to be hyper focused on completing one task only.
3 – Practice Self-Love
Jim Kwik provides one of the best definitions of Self-Love I’ve ever read in his book Limitless:
“A big part of self-love is being protective of your time and energy. Setting boundaries around your time, emotions, mental health and space is vital. Especially when you don’t sleep. When you lack any necessary fuel, such as sleep or food – your resources are less abundant. Protecting what you do have becomes very important.”
In order to effectively protect your resources you need focus less on saying yes and more on saying no. Our society has conditioned us into thinking we must say “yes” in order to fit in.
Saying yes to something – means saying no to something else. Like saying no to a critical rest and recovery period or self-care practice that will protect our resources. You can read more about this trade off in a full post I wrote here.
Time is our most valuable resource in our life. The best CEO’s learn to say “No” often so they can remain focused on achieving what’s important to them.
Become a CEO in Sales
Becoming a CEO and executing on these three strategies consistently will help you protect your Mental Health. In doing so you’ll be in the best position to sell at a high level each day.
Each morning when you wake-up, evaluate your energy levels and think about how much “Attention Currency” you have. Then think about working like a Cheetah and how you can best use this currency throughout the day. What needs to be prioritized and what do you need to say no to so you can protect and use this currency efficiently.
For more strategies and best practices to building resilience and protecting your Mental Health in sales – check out the online course below. For $10 you can accelerate your tranformation into a CEO and Chief Energy Officer.
About The Author
Jeff Riseley is currently the Founder of the Sales Health Alliance and Mental Health Advocate. With over a decade of sales experience – Jeff understands the importance of Mental Health in achieving peak sales performance.
Jeff combines his sales (Sales Knowledge Institute) and Mental Health expertise to improve sales performance through a mix of sales mentorship and mental health best practices. His strategies have helped sales teams improve their sales process, while helping them become more motivated, resilient and better equipped to tackle stressful events within sales.
He is currently delivering these strategies through on-site workshops, coaching and speaking engagements. To explore working with Jeff contact him at [email protected]