Leadership takes time and effort. In building our connections to our teams and inspiring people on an individual basis, leadership roles can quickly become overwhelming and lead to burnout. Leaders must take the time to see to their own needs and circumstances to become genuinely inspirational.
Leader's self-care is critically important because, as we explored in a previous post, you cannot lead if you are not 100% effective. We all have our physical and mental health as well as social and family lives to attend to before we are fully ready to meet the obligations of our professional positions.
As leaders, we have to prioritize self-care in our lives. I can give a personal example on this, my gym time in the morning is sacred to me. I go to my local gym, put on my headphones, do a little cardio, then start lifting things up and putting them down. This time allows to reflect on my day quietly, plan my efforts, strategize on where I'm going, all while providing some physical exertion in what is going to become a primarily mentally driven day. I would not trade this time at all; it gives me much needed time to focus my efforts and energies proactively.
Other times a leader just needs to seek quietude. Solitude and finding the time to be alone in one's thoughts provide some much-needed insight and reflction. A recent article in Task & Purpose explains this phenomenon and how it has influenced military leaders from General Eisenhower to Secretary Mattis. This time allows a leader's intuition to take over, for them to use the full breadth of their experience towards making critical decisions. Sometimes, a long-term retreat or vacation is necessary for this. Again, as a personal example, I did much of my initial business planning while on a private holiday to Iceland - a reward to myself for completing my MBA - taking the time to fully formulate my ideas while running through different scenarios, all while driving through and being inspired by some of the most beautiful surroundings I have ever found myself in.
Leadership sets the tone and the example in an organiation. People will naturally look up to, and mimic the behaviors of those around them. For leaders to set the best example, as PepsiCo in Australia and New Zealand have done, they must promote their well being, and encourage others around them that it is okay to take a little me time. Because in the long run, a person can best focus on the job at hand only when their individual needs are met first.
Thinking about how to succeed is important. Doing something to achieve it is essential. Connect with us to learn more about our range of Leadership Development services.