7 Steps on How CFOs can Beat Overwhelm

In today’s modern world of accessibility and digital revolution, the epidemic of overwhelm and its effect on society has reached an all-time high. Burn out, depression, reduced decision making capabilities, financial losses and business breakdowns.  Way before COVID came onto our radar, treating overwhelm had become a $300billion dollar industry in the US alone.

The speed at which we live our lives, work, handle information, create transactions and interact with multiple people at any one time is both exhilarating and overwhelming. AI, UI, EI, robotics, automation, blockchain—the list goes on.

Technological advances have given rise to globalisation and opened the world up for trade in the last forty to fifty years, competition is fierce and the corporate landscape has changed dramatically. Yet again with COVID the national and global economies and the systems we use to plan ahead have been challenged. Unprecedented times of uncertainty.

While businesses focus on the bottom line and survival mode for most – thriving for some – leaders feel their energy, mindset and ability to cope sitting dangerously in deficit. Exhausted, feeling uninspired, out of control and unable to get a hold on all the twists and turns in front of you – personally and professionally.

This is the most crucial time as a CFO. Whatever has served you before will no doubt require a hard drive reset. A personal audit.

Here are 7 steps to guide you out of overwhelm and into calm to navigate sustainable success whatever the conditions:

  1. Recognise the signs of overwhelm – aka survival mode. You can see it in the numbers on a balance sheet – apply that pit stop to your own life. Are you tired or energised, calm or chaotic, feel supported or alone, sleep well or insomnia, enjoy company or snappy and short fused?
  2. Raise your personal acuity to the degree you know your numbers – awareness around your thoughts, approach, reactive vs responsive, calm versus anxious.
  3. Have radical accountability – what areas of your personal audit are not in flow? Where are there deficits rather than deposits? Health, wealth, relationships, friendships. What areas are you avoiding a dedicated approach?
  4. Take action – create a short and targeted 90 day plan for your whole ecosystem. Mindset, work, team, family, health and what do you truly want to feel and achieve within 90 days.
  5. Refine and Review – take pit stops to check milestones, no blame or deflection. Where is your commitment to show up for yourself, lean in to learning and apply the new basic
  6. Celebrate and reward – it’s the journey not the destination. I always say to my clients – marshmallows not maseratis – it’s the regular wins and grins that create deep momentum and trust in self.
  7. Sustainable Success – the ability to adhere to your own vital ingredients, your own vitality bank of health, wealth and wisdom. An internal barometer of success not just on the numbers but how you are showing up as a leader in life.

As a CFO there is an innate experience of running the numbers, strategies for the now and growth for the future. Troubleshooting unforeseen circumstances and being able to navigate this extraordinary period of global lockdown is an enormous responsibility and challenge. This is why it is crucial as gatekeepers of commerce, longevity and success in businesses that you have your own oxygen mask on first. 

It is our absolute requirement as leaders in companies and communities to press pause. Take a health check on our own bottom line. Are you operating from the driver’s seat with clarity, calm and vision or making decisions from autopilot, burn out and feeling stuck?

Pushing through the pain and exhaustion, forcing a way to the future is not the answer. Instead – take a step back. Deploy the roadmap that ensures sustainable success.

The 7 checkpoints are ongoing, it is a rally of life and work. All seasons, all conditions. Evolving experience with mental acuity and agility is the most profitable place to sit.   You are your most important asset. From here you can add value and contribute better than ever before.

At whatever point you are reading this it is never too late to deploy the best personal strategy for leading in life at home and at work.                                                                                                          

About the Author –

Nikki Fogden-Moore, author of Radical Self Belief, is a renowned change leadership specialist, host of Radical Self Belief The Mojo Maker Podcast and founder of The Quantum Decision Making Program©. Nikki is a proven expert who is dedicated to putting extraordinary leaders and individuals in the driver’s seat of life and work.

Find out more at www.nikkifogdenmoore.com