What Are You Excited About?
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

It is so easy to spend our time in worry and fear. It is so easy to see what is broken and needs to be fixed. We can see problems constantly. As leaders, we just look – and they seem to be everywhere. But, is that what we are called to focus on?

It is rather easy for me to begin my thoughts with what is in need of repair. I can quickly jump into a situation and attempt to bring change to it. But, should I? I have come to learn I should not. Fear and urgency may get people moving, but is it sustainable? In my experience, it isn’t. So, what is?

Compassion, excitement, teamwork, and relationships are what move people day after day. We now know that humans cannot sustain long periods of high levels of stress. High stress creates  health concerns, damaged relationships, spotty results, and a decline in overall performance. Zero stress does not work either – we call that vacation. So, what is the answer? Excitement!

When people are excited about a project, their work, their company, and their life they perform at high levels – and can do so for long periods of time. How much energy do you have when you are excited? When you can’t wait to begin, what does that feel like? When the morning comes and you jump (not slump) out of bed, what do you feel? Excitement! It is what we want at work, not stress!

As a leader, I must find this in myself first. When I do, it becomes contagious. Then I must work with my teams and individuals who do not seem to have excitement. I now ask people on a scale from 1 to 10 what their stress level is. Too high is a problem. Too low is a vacation. I also look for their body language. Are they stressed-out or excited? Looking and listening is how we can see if someone is excited or over-stressed.

I am excited about so many things these days! So are my teammates at MACNY! We have great new offerings, enhanced on-going services, awesome events planned, and wonderful moments to spend with our members. I say that so you can see what we are excited about. I say it so you can also consider what you’re most excited about.

Can you make a list of the things in your life you are excited about? Does it compel you to smile? Does it make you want to rush to work to begin? Does it make you want to linger at work a little longer to get it done? Can you share this list with others and encourage them to be excited too?

As leaders, we must know what excites us! We also need to listen to what excites others. And, when they seem to be down or stressed, we need to help them see what could be exciting at work and in life. That is my job as a leader, to nurture and support excited and passionate people – in all areas of their lives.

Our lives were not meant to be drudgery. High stress is not our destiny. Excitement and meaningful lives are what we are meant to have.