The rhythm of success: 4 reflections to achieve balance within you and around you

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Nov 18, 2021

The soothing tone of a gentle melody.

The patter of rain on a cold winter day.

Our lives are filled with rhythms.

As life becomes more chaotic at times, I think about the wisdom of seeking zen and balance. In doing so, I’ve learned that if we pause to observe, it becomes apparent that there’s a rhythm to the chaos that surrounds us. And a rhythm within us. 

Identifying and understanding those patterns is, in many ways, our greatest challenge and our greatest opportunity. I’ve worked hard to learn how to use rhythms to achieve balance and growth in my life, and would like to share these reflections more broadly hoping that they help you in your journey.

1. Recognize patterns in your life
Spotting veiled patterns isn’t as easy as predicting winter after fall. Some of us may have the deductive power of the intrepid Sherlock Holmes, while others may have the uncanny intuition of Sigmund Freud. But you don’t have to be Sherlock or Sigmund to achieve enhanced insight. There are daily flows in everything we do—our morning routines, our daily interactions, our evening pastimes. After all, we humans don’t always reason objectively about probability as we go about living our everyday lives. Extraordinarily rare events, for example, are sometimes anything but. 

Uncovering these hidden patterns isn’t impossible, however. It’s just a matter of observing and forging connections between things that most of us blithely believe to be disparate. It can simply be taking the time to not just hear but to listen.

2. Unlock the “alpha” around you
Of course, recognizing the patterns is just part of the journey. The real value comes from what you do with that recognition. Uncovering hidden relationships can lead to an advantage, or what my Wall Street friends would call alpha. And that alpha can be an edge, whether it be in terms of time, performance, happiness, or money. The more plentiful the pattern recognition, the better the possible outcomes.

In my leadership role as CFO, spotting patterns within my team has helped kick things into high gear, leading to many winning moves. In particular, I’ve discovered three powerful traits among team members—loyalty, ingenuity, and discretion—that lead to a pattern of strong execution. In addition, creating safe spaces among team members, where ideas can collide and folks can speak their minds without judgment, is another predictor of heightened team performance. This team strength was reflected in the honor I received for the third time in a row as Best Software CFO in the 2022 Institutional Investor’s All-America Executive Team.

3. Uncover rhythms within yourself
As much impact as our ability to discover patterns around us can have, it is equally important to discover rhythms inside ourselves—the alpha within. For example, at times I’ve found a pattern of abrupt decisiveness within myself; but upon reflection, I actually observed that my best decisions were born of taking pause and considering different perspectives. I’ve also realized that keeping an open mind—without worrying about perfection—has led to some amazing self improvements. Perfection can be the enemy of good. 

4. Disrupt your own patterns
Of course, there’s comfort in a certain cadence. Knowing A leads to B can be reassuring, especially in these times of increased uncertainty. But more impactful is the opportunity to disrupt and break those patterns. By disrupting daily routines, we can truly grow as individuals. 

In my life, the value of positive pattern disruption has itself become a pattern. Personally, I’ve been able to identify and overcome blind spots by changing blueprints that were drawn a while ago. At work, I’ve encouraged employees to plunge outside their comfort zones and watched with pride as their careers soared. There’s no better word to describe the results than magic.

The recognition I’ve received again this year is bittersweet, as I’ve made the decision to leave my current role at RingCentral. As I come upon the next chapter of my life, I’m excited to disrupt the patterns I’ve grown to find secure and predictable. While I don’t know exactly what’s coming next, I do know it’ll be new and perhaps a bit uncomfortable and scary—and I can’t wait.

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

~Robert Frost

 

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