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Jogi Rippel

One of the great privileges we get with Tignum is that we get to work with high performing executives and business professionals. These people are highly passionate and committed to their jobs, their families, and often to many other high impact things in their life. When we start our work, we usually have some type of conversation where almost every client describes their “Extreme Job”. 

Recently, I had the opportunity to spend a day with one of these top executives and observe his performance during the day. This was not what we would call a “rough” or “crazy” day; it was actually what we now accept as the new norm for business professionals. There was constant switching between tasks, moving from meeting to meeting, dealing with conflicting priorities, managing key projects with tight deadlines, and engaging in difficult conversations about tight budgets. As the morning unfolded, I could see that his performance had become more and more frantic. He was trying just as hard to engage, but I could see he was getting less and less agile. His patience was starting to diminish, his focus was waning, and his ability to energize those in the meeting was taking a back seat to just getting to the next meeting. He took trouble from one meeting into the next. 

What fascinated me about this client was that he is brilliant, quite senior, and a mentor to many future leaders in his company. Still, despite this high level of talent, something was missing. Around 4pm he was looking tired so I urged him to take a break, grab a quick water, and try to make some sense of this day. As we talked, it was clear he had great intentions in every meeting we went to. He had pretty good habits in the TIGNUM performance pillars of Mindset, Nutrition, Movement, and Recovery. But as we discussed his daily work flow, it hit me. He had zero transition between all of his different events. He moved from one event to the other without any closure to the previous event and without any chance to actually recharge and refocus his mindset and his emotional state for what was coming next. 

This approach is now the norm and not only does it not align with the way the brain is hard wired, it also doesn’t create the results that so many business professionals want. When I asked him why he doesn’t implement the simple Tignum strategy of putting transitions between his events, he replied with the all too common line, “I don’t have time.” The truth is that time does not have to be the limiting factor. I suggested the following:

Before each of your daily events, whether it’s working on a project, attending/leading a meeting, giving a presentation, walking into your home at the end of the day, or even playing golf or some other hobby, take just one minute to transition from where you currently are to where you want to be. Ask yourself these simple 4 questions:
_How do I want to be in this next event (e.g., open, solution oriented, trusting, excited, focused, concentrated, value adding)?
_What are my intentions for this next event?
_What  would a good outcome (success) look like?
_Am I prepared (intellectually, emotionally, and functionally (brain, energy))?

I also shared with him that if he really wanted to maximize this 1 minute transition, he could combine it with a simple breathing technique (ratio breathing - count to 4 when you breath in and to 4 when you breath out) to positively impact his autonomic nervous system. 

One week later he called me full of excitement and told me that his game at work and off work has changed after building in just a one minute transition between events. He thought time was his limiting factor but just one minute made a huge difference. The lesson is that one minute of stopping the speed train and consciously, purposefully preparing for the next event can make a huge impact. Isn’t that what we all really want anyway?

As always, we would love to hear what your transition ritual is. If you don’t have one, give yourself a minute and try the one above.