The Toughest Part of Leadership
Leadership is a tough job. It requires making tough decisions, setting direction, motivating teams, and managing difficult situations. But, perhaps the most challenging part of being a leader is shifting the focus from our to-do list to ourselves. As leaders, while we focus on achieving goals and driving the success of our organizations, we often forget to prioritize our own well-being. Today I want to explore the importance of leadership well-being – with a few practical tips and past blog posts to help us.
First, we must understand that our well-being is critical to our ability to lead effectively – whether we’re leading a large corporate team or a small team in our homes. When we neglect our needs, we leave ourselves open to experiencing burnout, stress, and decreased productivity – all of which can have a ripple effect on the people around us and our organizations as a whole.
Think about the last time you flew on a commercial flight – you may recall an important reminder in the safety overview – secure your mask before assisting others. In a similar way, we as leaders must prioritize our own well-being in order to be fully present and effective in our roles.
So, what can we do to prioritize our well-being? Here are some practical tips – each of them links to a past blog post that I’ve written on the topic.
- Recognize that your needs are important.
- Take care of your physical health. Don’t deprive yourself of the necessities, like food and sleep.
- Delegate tasks that can be moved off of your plate (not just at work, but at home, too).
- Set boundaries with your time – resist the “always-on” mentality.
- Take time to disconnect (not just over the holidays).
- Know when it’s time to ask for help in managing your emotions.
- Pursue what you need to make yourself happy (think hobbies, connection with others, generosity, etc.).
- Take a breath (yes, it’s really that simple).
My hope is that this list serves as a self-awareness spark – a spark that leads you to find at least one area that you can focus on improving as you continue your leadership journey.
Interested in learning more about my view on leadership? I’ve written two books that I’d love to share with you – check them out here.