"I just got the best sleep ever and I'm ready to go." How often does this hold true for leaders? Most of the time you're tossing and turning or working into the late hours, to get things done. How in the world are you going to do it all without sleep?
Or you could be sailing along, living to the fullest and something out of the blue smacks you in the face. Life isn't supposed to work out this way? I’ve seen it happen to other people, but I never expected this to happen to me.
So now you have an unwelcomed upset and no sleep to top it all off.
Sure you can adopt the mindset of making lemon aide, but how far will that take you. How much lemon aide can the average person handle?
Hey, remember you’re a leader. You were called to the front lines to influence others. It’s what you have dreamed of doing. You’re equipped and trained. It all sounds doable if only you could pull up your bootstraps and get back in the game. But what if you are thinking of taking your boots off and sitting there in the sun for a while, because you are tired and need a break? What if today you are a bit sick. Not with the flue, but of it all.
Hello, this could be what you’ve been needing long before you were knocked off your feet. Take the pressure off. Give yourself the attention you need. If you don’t make sure you’re taken care of, honestly I doubt others will, especially because you have a tendency to hide your needs so well. They don’t think you need anything. How would they know?
As a leader take care of yourself first. Remember the flight attendant putting her mask on? Or maybe in your mind you thought that you needed to run up and down the isle and put everyone else’s mask on, then see if they wanted coffee or tea, with one lump or two.
Isn’t that what leaders do? They sacrifice for others. Well they do, but only after they have equipped themselves first. Anything else is setting yourself up for failure and extreme burn out. There's no service at all in this style of leadership if you do not take care of you.
How to put your mask on first as a leader:
Have at least one or two people you can bare your soul to, without judgment.
Read at least one book a month, leaders are readers. Ok, maybe one a quarter for others.
Do something outside of work that you enjoy, they are called hobbies.
Talk to a member of your family each day, they need you and you need them.
Give yourself permission to change what you like and what satisfies you, don’t lock yourself in…life changes and you should too.
If you aren't sleeping like a baby and feel overwhelmed. Know that every leader on the face of the earth has been where you are. Every leader has felt what you feel. Where the difference lies is in the rest they give themselves permission to have for a brief while.
Everyone follows your lead. If they see you sacrificing your soul, health, and well being then of course they will feel obligated to do the same. What will all this sacrificing do to profits and productivity?
Please tell me you’ll focus on at least one of the points above. You owe it to those who are watching you. You owe it to yourself. Now go ahead and put those boots back on, I know you’ll feel better.
Best to you...Karen