Leaders are you exhausted?
I bet! Leadership requires us to care not only for others, but also for ourselves. You expend a lot of energy solving critical problems, meeting deadlines, running meetings, writing reports, and listening to people complain about one another all day long.
You take on too much and overdo it, and before you even know, the only reason you have gotten any rest is because your body has quit on you. It forced you to rest by picking up the latest bug that’s been making its way around the office.
Leaders don’t come with Care Instructions like your favorite new sweater or pair of jeans. But just like them, you need a certain level of care to maintain your shape and vibrant color. Remember your first day at work and how excited you were. You had tons of energy and ideas, you jumped out of bed eager to get the day going. Just like when you got that new sweater or pair jeans, in those first few months you did your best to keep them in as good of condition as possible.
Is that still you or are you a worn out and tore up version of yourself that has now turned into your late night TV sweater or working out the yard jeans?
Don’t let that be you. Take care of yourself.
How do you ask?
Here are your Leader Care Instructions:
LEAD: Be a conscious and present leader. Don’t lead on auto-pilot. Give your leadership and team the focus and attention needed to feel good about the work that you do every day.
REFLECT: Reflection is a simple, yet powerful tool that will allow you to recoup your energy and regain focus. Build time into your schedule, daily or weekly, to reflect on your work and leadership. Consider what went well, what you would have liked to have happened differently, and steps you can take in the future to make things better. Then write it down.
RE-SET: Now it is time to let go and live on. If there is something you can change, identify specific steps you can take, and then act on them to make the change. If there is something you cannot change, then you must accept that it is out of your control and let it go and move on and there is so much out of our control). Don’t waste your time and energy on issues or people you cannot change. Focus on those things that are within the realm of your control and leave the rest in the past.
Remember you cannot take care of others and be the best leader you can be, if you are not taking care of yourself.