A while ago, I was asked to meet with a senior executive of a large multinational organization. He is a key executive, a member of company's leadership team, and responsible for a significant percentage of their profits.

The HR leader contacted me, asking if I would connect with this individual, arrange for a meeting with him and try to determine what was going on. Specifically, was the guy, 'burned out'? He'd been a stellar performer year after year, but now he'd seemed to have lost his game.

  • His direct reports felt that he was no longer engaged.
  • His peers noticed that his time in the office was significantly less that had been his habit.
  • And his boss noted that she felt he just didn't seem to have the 'energy' that he once had.

She speculated that perhaps he was simply getting too old for their sector, where youth and vigor have a lot of value.

I arranged to meet him, and suggested that we do it over dinner. He was open to getting together, however there wasn't much enthusiasm about meeting with an executive coach. He noted that he had engaged coaches for his team members on occasion but hadn't seen much change in performance; commenting that he felt determining the ROI of coaching is impossible to calculate.

When we met, it was still evident he had little regard for the value of coaching; but what struck me though was how fast he was drinking his cocktails. He seemed to be anxious.

Over a dinner of nearly 2 hours, I asked if he was feeling pressure for improved results by the boss or the CEO. The answer was no. Taking a different tact, I asked how his health and home life were - he said both were fine.

Finally, I asked if he was depressed.

That was the issue...

He told me that he'd lost a significant amount of money as a result of a bad investment. He told me the reasons why he made the investment ( "it was almost guaranteed") and that he was going to have to tell his wife that their plan for a second home was not going to happen.

So...here was a successful business guy, with a family whom he loved and who loved him. And he felt terrible but decided that he couldn't really discuss it with anyone at work because it would be embarrassing.

In my organization, we use a model called The 3 Lives Aspects . It was created to help clients to understand that one can be 'successful' personally or professionally, but yet at the same time feel dissatisfied with their life. It helps an individual to determine how his/her dissatisfaction can cause them to derail all the other great stuff they have. (The short video below explains it.)

Once most people understand what's having a negative affect on their performance, they can usually develop a plan to get back into a success mode.

If you're having a rough patch currently, I'd recommend that you do a self audit and figure out why. With that clarity - it's likely that getting back into a better mode will come to you more easily.

Here's to your future....