Jan 24 2012

Is It Normal?

A friend who is a newly promoted CEO just wrote me and asked me this:

I’m having a sort of guilt complex.  Let me explain.

I’ve set up a bunch of positions, which people are grooving into.  We just completed our budget for our new fiscal year, probably faster and easier than ever before.  Sales are going really, really well.

BUT, despite all of this, I feel more relaxed than I have in years.  And I am struggling with that.

I’m relaxed because we seem out in front of stuff, I’ve reduced my span of control from a dozen direct reports to four.  Things are progressing in good ways.  I also have time now that I’ve not had in ages to pop my head up and out and do some long-term thinking and planning.

I still have a bunch of management to do with the senior team, some key problem areas to work on … but I’m not racing breathlessly feeling like I’d rather shoot myself than do my job.

Of course, we are doing well.  That helps. 

Is this honeymoon?  Should I feel guilty?  Should I figure out ways to race breathlessly?

My gut tells me I should feel good and not guilty but this is a sense-check request.

 My response:

I have gone through many stretches here over the years of not being overly busy.  Just means you have a great team and have delegated well.  And that the business has a nice tailwind behind it.

You should feel good.  And not guilty.  But you should also feel a bit paranoid about what you might be missing.