High achievers make their way to the top of companies and organisations, but they tend to be appreciated for what they do and not who they are, and they tend to discover that it is lonely at the top, according to Brian Gast in his book The Business of Wanting More: Why Some Executives Move from Success to Fulfillment and Others Don’t. In response to feeling vulnerable, they encase themselves in a bubble which protects them from emotional pain but at the same time distorts reality, resists growth and prevents fulfilment.
The book describes the author’s painful personal journey through highly successful start-up companies to high profile crashes, making and losing two substantial fortunes before coming to terms with his own reality distortions and discovering that he had to face a number of internal issues in order to achieve a more realistic and more personally rewarding outlook on life.
According to the author, we have four core needs which have to be satisfied in order for us to experience fulfilment:
The majority of the book consists of a description of a seven step process for meeting these four core needs.
One of the ironies of this type of book is that those who are most in need of the author’s advice are those who are the most unlikely to be aware of their need. Most leaders do not enjoy spending extended periods of time in introspection and examining their own emotions, and a busy person is unlikely to want to set aside the time required to undertake the practices recommended by the author. Nonetheless, if you have been wondering recently whether your life is all that it could be, this may be the book for you.