Q4 · 2021Ignite your Inspiration

Is your daily workplace always the same spot in your house or apartment? For many of you, I’m sure it is. During the Covid-19 pandemic, business leaders have been among the many people who have been working from home. For some executives, this situation may become permanent. Others may return to the office, but even then, it’s likely to be a gradual process and perhaps for only part of the working week. On top of this, most of us haven’t been travelling. It all adds up to our working environment – and probably our daily routines – staying unchanged, and this seems likely to continue.

Of course, many of us welcome homeworking, finding that we can combine high professional performance with a less stressful lifestyle. Indeed, in previous editions of Spotlight on Performance, I’ve written about some of the benefits and opportunities of such an environment, as well as sharing some practical tips on how to be most productive in these circumstances.

But there is one area that I haven’t yet covered, and which I believe merits particular attention, which is the challenge of staying inspired and creative when you are working alone in conditions that hardly ever change. Of course, as a leader, you must not only sustain excellent managerial performance, but also come up with inspiring ideas and innovative strategic thinking. So, in this edition, I would like to share some of my thoughts on how you can nurture your creativity and ignite your inspiration.

Find an inspiring “thinking space”

Because the physical environment in which you work will have a significant impact on your creativity, I recommend that you block out half a day per week for highly important strategic tasks. In this “thinking space”, you will be able to focus your mind on the most important issues, the things that create most value for you, your teams and your organization.

Making significant progress on tasks and projects will generate fresh momentum towards your desired outcomes. Importantly, it is also fundamental to maintaining your own high level of motivation. You will feel inspired and in control, while also enthusing others around you.

The reason for this is that it’s difficult to move important things forward if you are constantly distracted or interrupted and can only work on the most important tasks for half an hour here and there.

I recommend the following ritual: create your weekly three- to four-hour block of focus-time in your thinking space, potentially in a different location from your home office or office, which will help you mentally designate it as a special time. If possible, choose somewhere that inspires you (subject, of course, to your your options and your current Covid-regulated context). One of my clients, for example, has chosen a corner of the National Library, every Friday morning from 8-12am.

Get “in the zone”

Once you have decided on the best time and place, you need to become fully focused – in much the same way as top athletes get “in the zone” when performing at their best. To help achieve this productive mental state, I recommend that before you settle down in your thinking space, you:

  1. Take some physical exercise before (such as a run, workout, or Yoga)
  2. Practise a short meditation
  3. Deter interruptions, for example, by turning off your phone and hiding your email inbox.

After your weekly focus session, schedule a coffee meeting or lunch with an inspiring colleague or contact. This will give you an additional boost. You will feel highly engaged, energized, motivated, and full of ideas.

Talking of inspiring people…

Here is an incredible chance to meet two Olympic ski champions: Dominique Gisin and Tina Maze.

You may know that I have written a book with Dominique, Making It Happen. Since a couple of weeks, the book is already out in English, and now we’ve created a Limited Special Box, which includes one English and one German edition, together with a personally dedicated and signed card from Dominque and Tina.

Win the Golden Ticket

One Limited Special Box, out of a total of just 500, will contain a Golden Ticket, winning a wonderful day in the Swiss mountains with Dominque and Tina. The prize is for four people, so the lucky winner can invite three friends, colleagues, or family members. (I will be there too, but the experience to ski with me won’t be as exciting!)

This is an excellent opportunity to:

  • Get out of the (home)office and onto the beautiful mountain slopes
  • Meet two highly inspiring people – Dominique and Tina TOGETHER
  • Learn of the strategies they each deployed to win their Olympic Gold medals.

To order the book or the Limited Special Box, visit dominiquegisin.ch

Wishing you great inspiration and success!