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CEO Secrets Revealed On Friday Afternoons – Are You Listening?

Written by: Nicky Espinosa, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


The biggest complaint I get from CEOs and other Executives is… There is no time to think. It’s too easy to get wrapped up in the chaos of the daily operations of your business. One day turns into another and another. Before you know it, months can go by and you haven’t made a single strategic move.

Woman having salad and orange juice at lunch while working on laptop at home.

Worse…You can look up and find problems that you’ve been ignoring.

Conflict between key team members.

Performance issues that need to be addressed.

Turnover that’s halting your progress.

Environmental changes that you’ve missed.

There’s a secret to making this work. This a secret that the best CEOs have been touting for years, but no one believes us!

Why? Because it sounds a little woo-woo to some of you.

I get it. I thought the same thing at first.

The best thing you can do for yourself is to…get over it. Sorry for the harshness. But it’s the only way some of you are going to hear this.

If you want to be the most successful leader you can be, it’s time to open your mind.

You need time to reflect, assess and make the best decisions.

You need time to think.

Even if that feels a little woo-woo at first.

Some CEOs use meditation to create time.

Others use exercise as thinking time.

I love a good drive when I really need to think.

You’re the CEO, you have a responsibility to lead yourself first.

Make time!

And before you brush this off as ‘not my thing’…You’ve already done this before, but you might not recognize it.

Think back to a time when you’ve been in your office, alone, late in the day. Everyone else has left for the day. Something special starts to happen. You lose track of time. You are flowing through your to-do list, checking things off like a badass! Ideas start to flow. You’re making notes on your whiteboard. You feel the tingle of excitement as a new idea forms.

At some point, you probably get pulled out of this scene. You’ve got to get home, out to dinner, whatever. You leave feeling accomplished, but the spell is broken. Back to reality. Back to the bustle of your life.

You have just experienced wisdom in the quiet. You turned on your creative side. You opened your perspective to see things most clearly.

It’s a skill that is honed through years of practice and mentorship.

We have to be able to listen to more than what’s being said.

Listen to what you’re NOT hearing.

Listen to your gut.

Listen to your doubts.

Listen to your ideas.

Listen for signals.

They are there.

You can try this right now. Think about something that allows you to have some peace. Maybe it’s a walk in the woods. Go do that!


Right now.


Ok, ok…so maybe you’re sort of busy right now, but you get my point. You decide what is a priority and what is not. If you don’t make it a priority to create time to think, then it never will be. If it’s not a priority, then you’ll keep going through the motions, wrapped up in the daily chaos. Busy, but not making the strategic moves you need to succeed.

So why don’t we make it a priority?

Because years of experience have taught us that hard work creates success.

We are conditioned to believe that thinking isn’t a productive activity. It’s just daydreaming.

So we tend to avoid quiet time.

We get irritated because we’re not ‘doing anything’.

We try to apply action words to thinking time so we won’t feel guilty about it. Words like ‘brainstorming’, ‘map it out’, ‘let’s whiteboard this’.

The truth is you NEED to create time to think if you are to be a successful CEO. It makes you a better leader. It prepares you to respond to stressful situations. It makes life as a leader more balanced and fun.

So, what are you doing today to create time to think?

Follow me on Facebook, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


Nicky Espinosa, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine Nicky Espinosa is a leadership expert and executive coach specializing in supporting women executives to reach their full potential. She is a former healthcare executive, author, and professional speaker with 20+ years of senior leadership experience. She is on a mission to close the gender gap in the C-suite by empowering women to confidently level the playing field.



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