Finding Your Fountain of Inspiration

img-snl-lake-houseThis summer I made a really great career move: I got out of town. In fact, I went really far… all the way to Alaska. Why was this a great career move, you ask? I think so because the day I came back to my office I was in a meeting with my management team to catch me up and to plan ahead. In the meeting, one of my VPs said, “Wow, Mark! That’s another great idea! Did you visit the fountain of inspiration on your trip? You’ve come back filled with good ideas!”

Yep, fountain of inspiration. I kid you not. True story.

The thing is, this supports one of the ExecuNet pillars: executive well-being. Taking a break isn’t just R&R. When we’re at the office, we’re “on” 24/7. You know how it is: there are always emails, calls and texts. There’s no Monday to Friday or nine to five – not anymore, not for an executive in today’s world. So it’s more important than ever to get away, clear your head, step away from the stress, recharge and return with a new purpose.

I’m not alone in finding productivity increases after a break. Arianna Huffington’s new project, Thrive Global, will be a startup dedicated to corporate and consumer well-being and productivity.

 “For far too long we have been operating under a collective delusion that burning out is the necessary price for achieving success. This couldn’t be less true. All the latest science is conclusive that, in fact, not only is there no trade-off between living a well-rounded life and high performance, but performance is actually improved when we prioritize our health and well-being. It’s time to move from knowing what to do to actually doing it.” – Arianna Huffington

Getting away has to be part of your career and business strategy.

img-snl-went-fishing-with-my-sonI believe this. As you know, I have mentioned my hiking trips, kayaking, rafting, fishing, etc. This time I crossed a Bucket List item off and took my family to Halibut Cove, Alaska. This fishing village is only accessible by boat, has the best oysters in the world, and is an absolute must visit place.

It was simply a perfect spot for me to disconnect and recharge. For me “stepping away” means connecting with nature, usually accompanied by my family. Whatever it takes for you to recharge… do it. You’ll be way more productive if you take regular breaks than if you always try to push through it. In fact, after a break someone may even think you too visited the fountain of inspiration!



Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson

Mark Anderson is ExecuNet's president and chief economist. An Arjay Miller Scholar, Mark received his MBA from Stanford University and a BA in economics from Yale University. He joined ExecuNet in 1993, with extensive marketing and new product and business development experience, having served as president and founder of A&M Associates, an investment management firm. Mark's corporate leadership experience includes several senior marketing and financial positions with RCA Global Communications (a GE subsidiary) and American Can Company.

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