Today’s society often requires people to constantly be on the go, to be ahead of the game, and to never make a mistake. The pressure of succeeding and meeting deadlines are everyday issues that leaders face regularly. It is easy to push self-care to the side in order to feel you are meeting the requirements of the job. This could quickly lead to burnout, also known as executive burnout, and can easily trickle down to the staff you lead. Self-care is crucial to staying on your A-Game as a leader and as a positive support system to the people you lead. Mark Athitakis (2018) states that “The CEO who looks after him or herself is in a better position to get the job done, and to encourage everybody on the org chart to feel the same way.”
Consider this scenario: You enjoy working for your current organization and developed close friendships with several coworkers in your department with whom you collaborate and socialize daily. A new employee is joining your team today. You are excited to meet this individual, and your first impressions of her are pleasant.
What was the first thing on your mind when you woke up this morning? For many people, the same thoughts cross their minds each day. Multiple studies have been conducted to learn more about what thoughts generally go through our minds first thing in the morning. It has been revealed that a large majority of individuals think about their phones, money and work, significant others, health, to do lists and food (Sleep Junkie, 2017). Of the items listed, it was discovered that a majority of men and women woke up thinking about money and work the most (Sleep Junkie, 2017).
American author and presidential speechwriter James Humes once said “the art of communication is the language of leadership” (Paymar, 2012, para. 7). While a 2014 Gallup survey identified texting as the most dominant form of communication for Americans under age 50 (Newport, 2014, para. 1), verbal communication – and specifically listening – may be one of the most underrated and underutilized tools leaders can use to build a more engaged workforce.
Often, a simple thought progresses from a thought or saying to an adage and then to be almost an axiom that is universally accepted as true. Such is the case with the thought that one should “work smarter, not harder”.
Redefining the Road to Leadership with the Beatitudes
Several years ago I started my own personal quest to deal with life’s hurts, hang-ups and habits. After a while, this quest turned into more of a necessity to be able to thrive in this every changing world. I decided to join a group at my church. This group went through the book Life’s Healing Choices by John Baker. “The fact is that many of us are a mess. We’re scattered all over the living room floor, with no one to put us together and no idea where to begin the process of healing” (p. 1).
As you may know, leadership is simply the ability to attain followers. Leaders throughout history commonly possess certain traits and characteristics in order to create an environment where followers buy into the practices and ideas of their leadership. The uniqueness of the leader’s attributes causes them to emerge into this role. But what are these specific attributes and how can emerging leaders develop their skills?
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:7-9)
Topics: ethical leadership