Several years ago I was invited to speak at an annual sales conference in Miami. It was a great honor because this company was in the midst of a true turn around and the future of the company would largely depend on this team's success. If there was ever a place that the Tignum strategies of Sustainable High Performance and self-leadership would apply, this was it.
When I got to my hotel room, overlooking both the Atlantic Ocean and the hotel's multitude of pools, I could see the set up for what looked like one heck of a party that would last well into the midnight hours. Little did I know that this was the welcome party for the team that I would be presenting to the next day.
Keep in mind, I am not a foreigner to the concept of partying. In fact, I remember several occasions in college that involved partying all night only to slide into an exam the next morning still buzzed. At the time, this not only seemed like an okay idea, it also seemed like a brag-worthy feat... until, of course, I received my grade for the exam. I'll never forget the day the light bulb came on and I realized there was a direct (and not-so-favorable) correlation between partying the night before and my ability to succeed during peak performances the morning after.
I share this story because, over the past year, I have had more and more clients ask for help in developing an alcohol reduction plan. While none of these clients consider themselves alcoholics, research indicates that 81% of people earning more than $75,000 per year consume alcohol on a semi-regular basis. In the business world the term "high-functioning alcoholic" has become synonymous with executives who commonly drink to intoxication but still believe they can operate at their highest levels both during and after drinking.
We totally get it - success in business is often relationship driven, and alcohol is a normal and socially acceptable way to unwind, fight stress, and build those relationships. We also understand that the same clients who are asking for help with their alcohol reduction program are often the most committed to excellence, so I decided to explore how our other clients have learned when to say when.
Here is what I learned:
_Pre-plan any night that you are going to drink any alcohol. NEVER drive, even after just one drink. The possible outcomes are not worth it. In today's world of Uber, Lyft, and cell phones, there is always another option.
_Look at your calendar for the next day and be aware of what peak performances you have. Based on this, predetermine the time you will stop drinking and be home in your own bed. Set your phone alarm to remind yourself when you should start saying your goodbyes for the night.
_Hydrate before, during, and after drinking any more than 1 alcoholic drink.
_Be vulnerable enough to share with those you are meeting that you are reducing your alcohol because you are committed to your own Sustainable High Performance. You may just find they not only respect you for this but that they are also in the same boat (or want to be).
So, when do you say when? The time to say when is as soon as your drinking will compromise your next day's performance (or as one CEO told me - just before this). This follows the Tignum proven approach of Do This//Feel That//Perform This Way. When you plan ahead and make this link clear, you may just find that your behaviors effortlessly change. Sustainable High Performance doesn't happen by luck, it happens by choice, it improves by design.
As always, I would love to hear what you think.
By Scott Peltin
Founder/Chief Performance Officer