April 25

What lies beyond success?

"I want to continue to make an impact. But I don’t want the next phase of my life to take a toll on my health more than the last phase did. And I want to actually have time with my family…"

I was speaking with Sam. A former CEO, he was at a turning point as he contemplated what post-corporate life might have in store.

He was tired. Exhausted. Glad to be out of the stress. But, somewhere, the hunger for impact lived on…

Same thing with Toni. Having successfully sold her business she found herself wondering what’s next:

"I’m financially secure. I have a couple of projects, but they’re not inspiring me. To be honest, I’m bored (and feeling a little guilty)."

Will more of the same really satisfy?

Perhaps you can relate. Perhaps, like so many successful leaders, you’ve made big sacrifices to get where you are.

You know you’re capable of even greater impact, but - at this stage of life - you’re not ready to embrace crazy-busy again.

You know you could set yourself a big goal and probably hit it - but is that going to really bring you alive? More money in the bank, or a nicer car, isn’t really going to make a difference.

Moreover, you’re done with the glamour of airport security at 6 am on a Monday morning, the thrill of waiting for Windows Update to complete at 11.30 pm so you can finalise the figures for your board presentation, the joy of dealing with precisely 396 emails that’ve just arrived in your inbox in the last six minutes.

So the question remains:

“What’s next?”

You could dabble, or…

At this point, dabbling seems like a reasonable option. It sounds something like this:

“Perhaps I should just sit on a few boards, do the occasional advisory project. Perhaps mentor someone.”

Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. For some people, it might be perfect.

But… as I pointed out to my client when you’re incredibly strategic and focused, it might not make sense to disperse your energies in that way.

When you dabble, you might actually end up pretty busy, but with very little to really show for all that effort.

But…there’s another path.

What if you got clear on a 25-year vision that’s so exciting that nothing could stop you?

What if you stopped “playing to win” – because you’ve already “won” – and started to “play to play” instead?

Rather than dispersing and distracting yourself with a bunch of ‘hobbies’, why not find something so significant and impactful that it becomes your passion, your life’s work, your legacy, and the way you truly make a difference in this world?

What you achieve in the next 25 years could dwarf what you’ve achieved in the previous 25. When you’re “playing exponential”, the curve looks flat behind you and vertical ahead of you!

What if it could be fun and easy?

And what if that 25-year vision could be achieved with fun, serenity, and ease?

The good news is that a 25-year vision doesn’t need to make you a slave to the grind.

This is your new challenge: to create extraordinary impact without extraordinary effort.

Let’s face it, you have the “time, treasure, and talent”. You have the relationships, the experience, and the resources. You have all the foundations upon which to build something marvellous and uniquely “you”.

And the brilliant thing about a 25-year vision is that the pressure’s off. You only need to move the project 1% forward every quarter.

“What we have here, is a failure of imagination…”

The biggest barrier I see leaders in this phase struggling with is a failure to imagine. They can’t yet see what this kind of vision could be, and how they could pull it off without the sacrifices I mentioned above.

Not everyone has the courage to pursue this goal. But for those who do, it’s where community and coaching come in. Because this kind of 25-year vision requires a different way of dreaming, of thinking… and of being.

It requires you to shift the leadership game you’re playing, which requires some deep inner work.

Design criterion: “Future > Past”

Ultimately, this is about “making your future bigger than your past,” as Dan Sullivan puts it.

  • Don’t design a future that is more of the same - but bigger, harder, and more draining.
  • Instead, create a future that’s meaningful, transformational, and deeply inspiring.

If you want to discuss more… I’m building a group of successful leaders who are moving past corporate success and are ready to lean into a new and inspiring vision for their life and to design and grow their 25-year vision for impact.

Get in touch if you’re interested in speaking about this.

PLUS, whenever you're ready, why not hit the accelerator on your journey of exponential impact by working with us, or by picking up a copy of Making TIME For Strategy?

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