My wife and I were recently at dinner with two couples who are good friends of ours. The conversation was lively and, at one point, transitioned to the topic of sleep. Or, in this case, the lack thereof. One of the ladies mentioned how much she hates getting head noise. I said “head noise, what the heck is that?” She explained that head noise was all the crazy thoughts, sounds and self talk that buzz around in your brain while you are laying there in the dark, staring at the ceiling and not sleeping.
I’d never heard the term but immediately knew that it accurately represented my experience when I’m not sleeping. Most often, my head noise relates to work matters. And, it can be darn near impossible to turn it off.
I soon began to share this story and head noise concept with other friends and associates who happen to own businesses. Without exception, they all experience head noise. I think it is a common malady for any CEO/business owner.
No one will readily volunteer it, men in particular, but there is real truth in the old expression that it is lonely at the top. CEOs and business owners seldom have anyone they can turn to outside of their company to serve as an unbiased sounding board. Within a company, as tight and trusted as other members of the senior management team–or family members in the business– may be, there are simply times where their opinions and points of view will be biased. The same problem most often holds true for close friends outside the business. They are not reliable as a confidant. It is simply human nature that they are all at great risk of having bias or vested interests, even as unintentional as it may be.
Without an outside source or trusted advisor, the head noise often increases. In both frequency and volume. Especially in times of pressure and stress. Even more so in situations where there is no prior precedent or experience in dealing with a situation or scenario.
In discussing this unspoken trend and problem with business owners and executives, they began to volunteer situations, unique challenges and stories that generate their head noise and, often, how they dealt with and/or solved the problem/opportunity/challenge.
This blog is dedicated to those who bare the burden of sleepless nights most often because they care. They care about their companies, their employees, their customers and their own families. Those who don’t own or run a company can’t really know that managing and/or owning a business is 24X7. The stakes are enormous in so, so many ways for all who rely on them and their company. It can be a heavy burden.
With this blog, I intend to share the stories of many who are arguably unsung heroes. In between stories and lessons from guests, I will share some of my own bizarre tales and experiences.
Because I work as a partner in a management consulting firm called Capitus Group that specializes in working with business owners who need to develop transition plans or exit strategies, I will often share stories and experiences that relate to transitions and exits because that process can be the single highest stress point in a business owners entire career.
Stay tuned for more!
Onward and upward.