"I love how Focus is a sustained look at our addiction to screens and devices and the countless external distractions that threaten to take us further from ourselves and the people we love. His lesson—that ‘full attention is a form of love’—is something we can all learn from and take to heart." —Arianna Huffington
How To Maintain Motivation When Your Goals Are Epic
Companies like Box, TaskRabbit, NASA, and The Huffington Post have such huge missions that there’s no easy way at all to put it on a to-do list. So how do founders and leaders at these places stay motivated? Read on for advice from Aaron Levie, Leah Busque, Arianna Huffington, and more.
While luck may play a small role in the success of Silicon Valley and Silicon Alley’s most famed entrepreneurs, it is their unique mindsets that provide the energy, inspiration, and drive needed to achieve what others simply see as unattainable.
So, what distinguishes these entrepreneurs from the rest of us? The seven tech leaders below shared their personal stories on how they think, live, and work in order to survive the grueling hours, overcome the challenges that others have found insurmountable, and achieve what others have failed to do.
[Image: Flickr user Tim Simpson]
How Arianna Huffington Defines Success
At the Wall Street Journal, Arianna Huffington writes that Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In has unleashed a range of conversations—including what world, exactly, is being leaned into.
To Huffington, we’re failing to understand the nature of success.
"This is a great moment…to acknowledge that the current male-dominated model of success isn’t working for women," she writes, "and it’s not working for men, either."
Pretty tightly wound. Huffington notes that self-reported stress has gone up for both sexes in the past 30 years—18 percent for women, 25 percent for men. A recent Harvard Medical School study estimated that U.S. companies lose $63.2 billion to sleep deprivation every year. And women, Huffington notes, are more likely to feel stressed at work.
With our current “time macho” culture, we’ve got stressed-out leaders in politics, business, and media making awful decisions.
"What they lack is not smarts but wisdom," she says. "And it’s much harder to tap into your wisdom, recognizing the icebergs before they hit the Titanic—a big part of leadership—when you’re running on empty."
Huffington calls upon a lovely French phrase: reculer pour mieux sauter, which loosely translates as lean back to jump higher. Or in other words,relax and you’ll be more productive.
For Huffington, what’s missing is measurement:
We need a third metric, based on our well-being, our health, our ability to unplug and recharge and renew ourselves, and to find joy in both our job and the rest of our life. Ultimately, success is not about money or position, but about living the life you want, not just the life you settle for.
And as Leslie Perlow notes, workaholics aren’t addicted to work—they’re need addicted to validation. So let’s change the validation structure.
[Image by Flickr user Penn State/Patrick Mansell]