My post yesterday on passion brought up some thoughts in what I would like to call – “slowing it down”.

Roughly a year and a half ago I was literally fed up with my corporate role and the way things were going – on the verge of leaving the company. I was good at what I did and the teams I managed delivered what we needed to do. And Im sure that individuals within my teams may see things from various perspectives, but overall as arrogant as it sounds I do consider myself a fantastic leader. I love pushing hard and going fast. However, by that given time I was fed up with the role and all the happenings and knew that my lack of passion was no longer suitable to inspire individuals for the better. My personal belief is that if you can’t inspire yourself, you should let go of being a leader (or what I consider for most people in those roles – just managers).

So I brought this up and suddenly had the opportunity to move into a bigger role. I actually wanted to slow things down and now the challenge just got bigger. I mean, I wanted to climb and I wanted to climb fast, yet at that point I needed to make a choice to change the situation. I loved the decision that I made. I took the role and the best thing about it was that I had no direct reports, but led to certain extent, an organization with nearly 20x the people my former team had in size. In the end, I worked long hours but was able to slow it down yet still make the step professionally. It all worked out for the good.

All of this was falling right into place. I had many new professional challenges and personally life was about to change as well. So I was thankful that I took a step out of leading and into the what most companies call an “Individual Contributor” role again. That’s just not me, but I needed to do this. I needed something new, a break and way to slow it down while stepping up. And as you’d expect, having a baby changes your life drastically. I began settling into my comfort zone in my corporate role while everything else was rolling on – especially with Jayden being born, lots of priorities shifted.

I love everyday. I love spending time with my family. The last months have been amazing. The combination of all my endeavors and doings together with my family are amazing. Ive always wanted to run fast. Whether in sports, in school or at work. However sometimes its just okay to slow it all down. Emotions and experiences are what count and looking at my family I often realize that my work-life balance has been mostly crap in the last period even though I never miss a moment in spending lots of time with family. That’s a shifted priority. Previously, I always felt as if I needed to run from the one to do, to the next and it even sometimes felt that “workout at gym”, “go out with friends” etc. felt like to-do’s rather than stuff that I wanted to do.

I’m slowly learning that sometimes it is okay for me to just zap it all out. No corporate, no eMails, no phones. I’m learning that slowing down is a good thing and that I don’t need to compromise on my ambitions & dreams to be able to do that. My wife has been my anchor in all the past years and Im glad she is.

Every now & again, it’s okay to just take a moment, spend it with someone special and truly cherish it without having to worry about the next item on the to do list.

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Hermann Kratochwill
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