The Key To Finding The Best CEO

Firing myself and hiring a better CEO saved my life and our company.

I was 28 when my father died of a sudden heart attack. I buried my grief with him that day, became CEO of his company, and began driving myself relentlessly.

I’d been a workaholic; now I became a “do-aholic” and put the pedal to the metal. I became addicted to doing and chased The American Dream until I caught it. I had plenty of dollars and all the right stuff but I felt worthless, because – although I didn’t consciously know it – I was trying to prove myself to a dead man. Dad had been my role model and without his approval, which was now impossible, I believed that I had no real value.

Constant stress disrupted my health, my business behaviors, and my family relationships. I did get top marks for stubbornness and denial, until my doctor told me: “You probably have less than a month to live.” I hit rock bottom that day, so hard that I bounced back up, slammed into the ceiling I’d been suffocating under, and blasted right on through.

I let go, I surrendered. I had to, it wasn’t even a choice, because playing God had almost killed me. That’s what I’d been doing, there’s no better way to put it. Mr. Self Sufficient, that was me, arrogant and blind to my epic stupidity. Some CEO!

So, I fired myself and hired a CEO for our company. I resigned from committees. I stopped weighing in on every decision (we had 500 employees and almost ten thousand customers at the time, plenty of decisions to make).

“You may not be the best CEO. I wasn’t. But I found my perfect replacement and it was quite the surprise!”

Meanwhile, I needed a miracle for my body. So, I found another CEO for my life, an unlikely choice: God. It was embarrassing to realize that, as a Christian who attended church regularly, I didn’t really have a daily relationship with God. I’d been treating Him like a relief pitcher to call in for ninth inning emergencies.

I remember the exact moment that changed, alone, drunk, and bleeding in a darkened hotel room. “It’s over God,” are the words I heard echoing in my head. My prideful rebellion ended right then and there. In that instant, the “higher power” they tell you to turn your life over to in AA (I joined and got sober), became real. I got it. Man, did I get it!

Suddenly it was so clear. I wasn’t beating my own heart, right? I wasn’t keeping the moon from crashing into earth or making sure that nature behaved. “Something” had to be managing all that and it sure wasn’t me. I couldn’t even run my own little life! So, I let go of control and I invited God to become my personal CEO.

It turns out that God knows what He’s doing because today, six years later, I’m healthy, sober, happy, and our company has prospered beyond expectations. What’s more, I’ve been freed from the ghost of my departed father. I feel loved for who I am now, not for what I do, which means that I don’t need his (or anyone else’s) approval anymore. And it works the other way too; now I can love my dad for who he was, imperfect, just like me and the rest of us.

So many films and books tell father child relationship stories, and a lot of attention goes into that in Therapy Land. Well, I resolved my father-son stuff (and everything else) in a different way, by replacing him with Him (Him/Her/It, choose the term you prefer, God won’t mind).

If you’re stressed out with your life and career, or if you’re haunted by a father issue like I was, I recommend that you quit trying to fix it and give up. Surrender. Let go. Consider inviting God to be the CEO of your life. I don’t have Him under any kind of exclusive contract and I can sure give Him an excellent reference.

#Key #Finding #CEO

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