THE BLOG

I Will Take My Bathroom Breaks, Michael Bloomberg, and Still Be Successful

08/29/2013 10:21 am ET | Updated Oct 29, 2013

New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg said on his weekly radio show Friday morning that one of the keys to his success was essentially being chained to his desk -- including spending the least amount of time possible on bathroom breaks.

"I always tried to be the first one in in the morning and the last one to leave at night, take the fewest vacations and the least time away from the desk to go to the bathroom or have lunch," the outgoing mayor said, thinking back on his successes building his media empire, Bloomberg L.P. "You gotta be there."

Dear Michael Bloomberg (and those who believe as you do),

I am a big believer of coming in early and staying late and working hard. I am a bigger believer that where you are, you gotta be there. Being present is important, no doubt.

But what I don't subscribe to is the notion of fear-based success.

I refuse to believe that if I go to the bathroom, I will be missing out on something that is meant to be mine.

The truth about success is what is meant to be yours is yours.

The myth about success is that someone else can achieve it in your place.

The idea that I will lose out by going to the bathroom is on the sharp edge of fear-based thinking. It's damaging and I won't think that way.

If you want to be truly successful, eliminate the fear!

Take time for a break. It is a necessity for the mind and heart.

Take time to slow down. It is the foundation for creativity and innovation

Take time to assess your circumstances. It is the essence of great leadership and entrepreneurship.

If we're honest, success in life is not about who got there first and stayed the longest. It is about:

  • Working hard and paying your dues and taking action. 
  • Staying grounded in your ethics and values. 
  • Lifting people up and helping them out. 
  • Following your passion and becoming rich with purpose.
  • Acting in freedom and dignity.
  • Taking the opportunity to transform lives.

Successful business is built on collaboration and connection -- bringing value, meaning and purpose while being driven by your calling.

Bloomberg's thinking is the symptom of dysfunction of old leadership, where hoarding power and looking over your shoulder was the norm.  

Today, we lead with love. We lead together.

If I am successful, you are successful.

A culture of collaboration and co-creation enables successful ideas and innovation to be shared and spread rapidly throughout an organization, society and the world.

If you allow yourself to think you are the only one who can make something happen, you are allowing fear to be present in your life. And when fear is present, it keeps you small and turned inward. It prevents you from fulfilling your purpose and mission.

Fear is deadly to creativity. It is a killer of innovation.

Fear keeps us from the flow (sorry, Bloomberg!) that is required for us to be creative, to be innovative, to be successful.

Honoring yourself and others is a sign of caring, and caring is not a sign of weakness, but of strength.

Take your bathroom breaks. Make honoring yourself, caring for yourself and trusting yourself a part of your everyday routine. Take the fear out of success.

When you come from a place of mistrust, you are trading in thinking that creates harmful unintended consequences.

Instead, use dreams and passion as the fuel to do extraordinary things that bring value to others, society and the world.

Take the time to nourish yourself, and use that nourishment to feed your success. Use it to create a business, an idea, an innovation that can improve lives and give something of value to others.

Success is embodying heart and soul into what you are passionate about. It's not about money or self-denial. Refuse to buy into those fears about success.

Instead, stay emotionally invested in your work, define your success in terms of how loving and impactful and trustworthy you and your work are, and -- trust me -- the money will come.

To be successful is to nourish the humanity of our heart.

Success is not easy. It takes strength and courage and hard work. But the reward is enormous. And it is much more compelling when it's based on love.