“5 things I wish someone told me before I became a CEO” with Madison Mikhail Bush, CEO of POINT

An Interview with Phil La Duke

Phil La Duke
Oct 27, 2019 · 13 min read

The pit in your stomach means you’re making moves. The pit in your stomach is here to stay. It means you’re uncomfortable and most likely pushing yourself to keep the pace you know you need to. As a leader, you might naturally believe nothing is ever finished, and your brain is years ahead. You’ll constantly be thinking through a million things to do and directions you could take. I sometimes view my brain as a racket ball court that has 75 balls at play bouncing off the walls at all times. Between the chaotic pace of my mind and the pit in my stomach, it’s enough to keep you in bed forever or push you to wake up early and take on the day. You have to decide what it’s going to be. General tips to calming both your stomach and brain: take nothing personally, define (at least) one accomplishment of the day that will help you fall asleep in a good frame of mind, get some sunshine, sweat it out, know the smarter you work — the better you feel, and do something before bed that has nothing to do with work.

  1. You’re running a marathon, not a sprint. Be aware you’re about to run a marathon and you need to prepare yourself for it. I naturally am nocturnal, really, but staying up till 4 a.m. or working 48-hour shifts won’t help you in the long run. Last year I worked 17–19 hour days for 4 months, only sitting at a desk. Sometimes you need to do what you need to do, but you also need to see the sunshine. Make sure that you get done what you need to, but that you also take time to sleep, eat a healthy meal, get some exercise, and see your family.
  2. Know yourself, really, really well. As an executive you need to know yourself personally and objectively. Once you know your strengths and your weaknesses you can plan around them, leveraging your strengths and hiring to your weaknesses. How do you get an objective view of yourself, though? I’ve found it works best to do anonymous employee survey of your leadership style and characteristics EVERY YEAR. It’s been one of the best tools in my career. Years ago my employees said my main weakness was communication, now, with persistence, it’s a strength.
  3. The pit in your stomach means you’re making moves. The pit in your stomach is here to stay. It means you’re uncomfortable and most likely pushing yourself to keep the pace you know you need to. As a leader, you might naturally believe nothing is ever finished, and your brain is years ahead. You’ll constantly be thinking through a million things to do and directions you could take. I sometimes view my brain as a racket ball court that has 75 balls at play bouncing off the walls at all times. Between the chaotic pace of my mind and the pit in my stomach, it’s enough to keep you in bed forever or push you to wake up early and take on the day. You have to decide what it’s going to be.
    General tips to calming both your stomach and brain: take nothing personally, define (at least) one accomplishment of the day that will help you fall asleep in a good frame of mind, get some sunshine, sweat it out, know the smarter you work — the better you feel, and do something before bed that has nothing to do with work.
  4. You’re going to do a whole lot of things you don’t like. I think 75% of my time is spent doing things I don’t like. Me? I like product design. Creating, building, making things functional to solve problems. But day in and day out, I spend most of my time doing everything BUT that. But I know all the little things I don’t like to do make it possible to build the things I want, so I do them anyway.

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film…

Phil La Duke

Written by

Author of “I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business” and “Lone Gunman. Rewriting the Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention” and “Blood on my hands

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

Phil La Duke

Written by

Author of “I Know My Shoes Are Untied. Mind Your Own Business” and “Lone Gunman. Rewriting the Handbook on Workplace Violence Prevention” and “Blood on my hands

Authority Magazine

Leadership Lessons from Authorities in Business, Film, Sports and Tech. Authority Mag is devoted primarily to sharing interesting feature interviews of people who are authorities in their industry. We use interviews to draw out stories that are both empowering and actionable.

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