How to Reach Your Career ‘Sweet Spot’
For more than two decades, Marty Seldman has built an impressive career as an executive coach, helping bosses and employees maximize their physical, mental and emotional prowess. To write Executive Stamina, Marty Seldman teamed up with his son Joshua Seldman, a fitness coach and mountain bike champion renowned for his endurance as a 12-hour and 24-hour soloist. In their first book together, the Seldmans combine their knowledge about developing healthy habits and building stamina to create a program for improving focus, judgment and leadership skills.
The Seldmans offer a holistic approach to a successful career and home life. Their system for self-reflection and improvement starts with an exercise that helps readers distill core values from experiences and then commit to these core values. Once our most important values are defined and captured, the authors show how we can use them as a foundation on which to build a better life through fitness, nutrition, time and stress management, positive relationships and living in alignment with our core principles.
Set Personal Priorities
The Seldmans’ program involves making realistic commitments, setting personal priorities and staying focused on long-term goals about health, finances, spirituality, career, relationships, community and self-improvement.
The most useful aspects of the authors’ action plan are its personalization features that help readers interject their own needs and goals into the mix. For example, the authors provide many opportunities for us to define our own goals, commitments and priorities while formulating objectives to seek and behaviors to emulate. By asking us to determine what will both help and hinder our progress on the path to better effectiveness over the long haul, they help us pin down our thoughts for deeper inspection and reflection.
Marty Seldman explains that he learned in college that the best way to start moving toward lofty goals is to focus on the smallest, most meaningful unit of change. He writes that this idea helped him develop his “Minimums” system, which involves setting reasonable goals that are realistic enough to sustain our commitment while being profound enough to create recognizable, positive gains.
Shifting and Drifting
The second part of the Seldmans’ program for increasing our stamina at work and in life is the “Shifts/Drifts Tracking system,” which involves tracking positive and negative shifts that are visible and easy to recognize when an improvement program is underway, as well as the gradual and often unnoticed drifts that occur when a new regimen of improvement begins to drift into more important aspects of life. The authors point out that regular reviews of these shifts and drifts can help us avoid setbacks.
The Seldmans write that there is a satisfying place where competence, enjoyment, deep interest and meaning all come together to form a satisfying combination of self-awareness and fulfillment: the career “sweet spot.” Once we get there, we have more energy and enthusiasm for our work, sustain a long-term interest in our careers and experience less stress and greater job satisfaction. By providing the tools for better fitness, nutrition, stress management, job performance, career management and personal relationships, the authors of Executive Stamina offer both a realistic road map to that sweet spot and the secrets to building the stamina to get there.