One aspect of being an effective leader that is truly important is that he or she has a real zest for life. It is not just with business, but in all facets of their lives including, family, volunteering, friends, hobbies, exercise, spiritual, etc. They appreciate all they have and show that gratitude in numerous ways. They also serve as role models for their employees as well as others including those living in their communities.
Unfortunately, we do not necessarily see these types of leaders portrayed much in the media today. Instead ruthless and/or incompetent leaders are the ones who are always in the spotlight as well as others who earn large compensations and/or attend high-end events. The leaders who truly value their employees and sometimes make personal sacrifices for the sake of the organization are never the ones who are highlighted.
Leaders are under a tremendous amount of pressure which can often cause stress related ailments. A well-balanced leader understands that self-care including “taking time outs” is very necessary. By detaching from the challenges of work periodically, leaders are able to recharge, which will hopefully enable them to bring a fresh perspective to the issues that they are facing when they get back to the office. It is also important for everyone in the company to be able to have “true” time off. Luckily more companies are realizing this, however, burn-out is still on the rise. Just like a car that runs too long, it will eventually run out of gas and parts wear out; our bodies are the same way and will wear out if we don’t take breaks and give ourselves time to recharge.
When was the last time you encouraged members of your team to really take a “time out”? When did you give permission to yourself to do the same? If you are struggling with this, spend five minutes brainstorming by yourself all the things that you would like to do but keep making excuses about. Maybe it is learning a new hobby or going on an excursion like a bike trip through the wine country in California. Whatever it is, make it happen. Time does not stand still and before you know it your zest for life is gone, and instead you realize you are on that hamster wheel going round and round and getting nowhere.
Other “Z” word to ponder – zeal.