Leaders are by their nature in a position of responsibility and great obligation. They outline and articulate a meaningful vision, direct people and teams to execute a plan of action, and manage personalities and resources towards a greater goal. As often happens with organizations composed of individuals in a team environment, leaders also need to navigate through trouble spots and occasional times of difficulty. It’s at times like these when reserves are tapped and the depth of organizational resilience is tested.
While a leader needs to be able to manage stressful situations at work and maintain their vision, it starts with self-care and self-awareness. When the stress mounts and difficulties pile up, it’s very easy to take shortcuts and let essential practices fall by the wayside. This temptation to cut corners can all too often lead to a situation in which health gives way to exhaustion, burnout, or sickness. When this happens, the quality of vision articulation and problem solving ability can decline, affecting the work and home environment negatively.
How do we avoid this sub-optimal result?
The most resilient individuals know to stay aware of their own health and well-being. They can identify negative patterns of behavior in their own day-to-day actions and mindset and work to mitigate them before they become corrosive. They watch their diets to ensure proper nutrition and avoid toxic substances. When an illness strikes, they know it’s best to recover properly, rather than burning the candle at both ends.
Self-care is important for everyone, but especially those in leadership roles. If you keep yourself healthy and practice mindful living, the benefits can extend outward from your strong core to the organizations you manage and the people you lead.
To that end, the simplest things are often quite effective:
- Know when to ask for help.
- Make sure you eat healthfully, and not just according to convenience.
- Take time to decompress and recharge.
- Get plenty of sleep.
- Check in with yourself and ask, “How am I doing?” and be honest with your answer.
Leaders who practice effective self-care will always be in a better position to address organizational change head-on, and this can only be a positive for the teams and company cultures under them. For more information about how to create greater resilience in your organization, contact us.