The truly great leaders have one thing in common – they respect themselves and their employees. Their job is to manage and focus the energy of the organization. Leaders who want to continue to function at an optimum level for long periods of time realize the need for a healthy balance of work/play and make taking care of themselves a priority.
When consistently sacrificing relaxation, adequate sleep, and exercise to maintain a strong and stress-free body, you put yourself at risk. Not just the well publicized short-term health risks, but the less understood long-term health effects, sub-par performance, and overall less joy and satisfaction.
The myth of working your butt off for the huge financial reward is beginning to break-down. Finally! People are starting to wake up and realize that sacrificing your health, family, and personal well-being just aren’t worth it. Too many of us know people who keep their nose to the grindstone for 30+ years building a sizeable nest-egg only to die soon after retiring.
One of the best ways to begin changing your ways is to start respecting yourself. Realize that Job 1 is to take care of yourself. Establish boundaries and maintain them. It doesn’t all have to be done today, and you have a team to assist you. The old model of nose-to-the-grindstone is slowly being replaced with a healthier model of balance.. It took a few decades of slow learners to realize this (usually by dropping dead), but many are starting to take notice and make adjustments.
Enjoy what you do but know when to say when. The fiercest storm eventually loses energy and dies out. NOTHING can sustain continuous high-level performance without recharging. Step 1 in respecting yourself begins with honoring your word. Consciously analyze the implications before responding. Then, once you say it – you do it.
The single quickest way I know of to increase your personal power and influence is to begin being impeccable with yourself. Walk your talk. By doing this you quickly become powerful and remembered. When impeccable you lead by example and bring out the best in those around you.
Once you start respecting yourself you realize your power. You understand that you get what you tolerate. If you’re not happy with a situation, change it! This will take time for others to adjust to – let them know your new operating rules and you’ll be surprised how quickly they adjust. Life goes on. When you’re doing your job, others want you to succeed. As a leader, you set the bar. Once others realize your performance improvement from taking care of yourself they will support you in continuing. If not, it might be time to find a company that respects your talents and abilities as much as you do.
In my experience, many of today’s primo leaders balance their work and personal responsibilities for optimum success.
- Participation in no-profit community activities
- Coaching little league teams
- Frequent social interaction with friends and family
- Regular exercise, meditation and relaxation
- Monthly deep-diving sessions on their professional why. Making sure their personal and professional desires are aligned.
Start with baby steps. Make a small commitment to begin reclaiming your health, sanity, and power that you can meet 100% of the time. Commit to walking to lunch once a week, or eating dinner with your family 2 nights/week, etc. Make commitments you know you can keep. No excuses allowed.
One you have a few of these successfully under your belt make new commitments. Keep building upon your successes until you’ve created a new version of you. A new you with a much happier outlook, better personal/professional balance, and loads of creativity and energy.