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For more than two decades, I’ve talked about leadership as a concept with three categories. One should first be yourself, then lead yourself well, before one really has any business leading others. This means efforts to maintain authenticity have tremendous value in building your leadership foundation. It also means paying nearly as much attention to your own development as you do in developing others is important. This includes the development of the ability to disconnect. But, why …disconnect?
Catching Up is Addictive
Whether your goal is Inbox ZERO or to simply finish up those assigned at the last minute projects, there will always be something to catch up on or do. You know this and you’ve proven it over and over. Catching up on holidays, free time, and weekends has become a habit. A habit is a less severe form of addiction. Are you addicted to the jolt of energy from achievement and see no point in disconnecting because you get no points for it? Change your point system. Your son or daughter having a life-long memory from time devoted to them is significant. Your loved ones being uplifted because of the way you made them feel, that’s a bonus. Break the addiction of catching up and focus on doing what you find to be even more important.
Batteries Need Charging
In the United States, today is a holiday. If you’ve traveled, you took your charger, are reading this from a well-charged phone, and seek first to find an outlet, even before you understand where you’re going. We spend more time planning our weekends than our relationships. We always make sure we charge our devices, but fail to stay connected to the people standing in front of us. Take this holiday to take a break from reading. Finish this post and disconnect. Turn it all off and enjoy yourself. Leading you means at times you need to stop reading and start recharging your own, drained human batteries.
Time is Fleeting
If you are surprised it will be June this week, shocked that it’s already 2017 or amazed that your toddler is now driving, you’ve stared time in the face and found it to be fleeting. Stand still, speed up, relax or remain intense. No matter what you do, time passes, seemingly faster, the more we try to fit in it. Time moves quickly and what is more important than what day, year or time it is, is what you’re doing with the time you have left. Have you really thought about it?
Leading you is about your own development. Development is about your ability to self-manage, be disciplined when you need to and take a break when it’s warranted. It’s warranted when you say it is and you’re the only one who can give yourself such permission. So ask yourself, is today the day for doing something important … or the day that you’ll catch up on emails, which will only last until the next one? Is today the day you disconnect and recharge, or the day you tell yourself you can do that tomorrow? Is today the day you seem to stop time for a second, to do exactly what you’ve been meaning to do for days, weeks, months, or a lifetime? We all need a break and maybe it’s time to remind yourself, as the leader of you and your own development, that yes, you deserve one.
Monica Wofford, CSP is a leadership development specialist who coaches, consults with, and speaks to leaders of all levels, building their skills, emotional intelligence and authenticity. Author of Contagious Leadership and Make Difficult People Disappear, Monica may be reached at www.ContagiousCompanies.com, www.MonicaWofford.com or by calling 1-866-382-0121.