Define your turn-around time
Imagine you want to climb Mount Everest. You will not go to the top in one run, will you? No. You will stop at different intervals. Base camp is at 5.400m, Camp 1 at 6.100 m, Camp 2 at 6.400 m, Camp 3 at 6.800m and Camp 4 at 8.000m. The zone above Camp 4 is called “Death Zone”. If you are in that zone for more than 24 hours, your chances of survival are very low.
So when you start climbing from Camp 4 at 11 o’clock in the evening, you will climb all night and you must make sure that you return around 11am the next morning. So indeed, almost all teams who want to conquer Mount Everest set the turn-around time around 10 - 11 am. If you wait longer – and that has often happened in history – there is a high chance that you will not make it anymore to Camp 4. You may freeze to death. Or you may die because of a lack of oxygen. So even if you are only 100 meters from the top, you must return when it’s 11 o’clock.
In your daily business life, you should do the same: define your turn-around time. Watch out for obsessive goal-setting. Know when to stop. Even more: deeply understand the power of stop. Last week, for instance, I did a 36h sabbatical: I went for a walking tour to Normandy, to the cliffs of Etretat. It made me realize again that it's so crucial to build moments of stillness into your life. High-performing machines look after themselves. And if you don't, it can come with a whole bunch of bad consequences. To those of you who are in a leadership position: take charge of your own energy. Only then you can help orchestrate the energy of those around you.
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