Are you leading exhausted? Implement a system of accountability and delegation that releases some of the everyday burdens of working in your organization.
Encourage mutual accountability and vertical integration that can help you orchestrate your organization’s branding and team’s efforts.
A simple system will allow you to lead without constant exhaustion and encourage engagement in your team.
The Effects of Leading Exhausted
As the CEO of a growing company, I quickly discovered that a leadership role comes with its share of challenges. Sometimes a leader feels as if he or she is herding cats. To excel in leadership, you must show up daily and attend to the important aspects of leading your organization. For many leaders, this means working 16 + hours a day leaving limited time for balancing other life priorities, especially rest.
The benefits of sleep are numerous. It allows us to consolidate and store memories, process emotional experiences, replenish glucose that fuels the brain, and clear out waste that disrupts cognitive activity. By contrast, insufficient sleep and fatigue lead to poor judgment, lack of self-control, and impaired creativity. However, knowing this simple reality doesn’t help us negotiate more time into our schedules for that much-needed rest that will ultimately serve us and our teams.
The minimum amount of sleep that the average person needs is six hours. Americans not getting enough sleep has been on the rise, from 22% in 1985 to 29% in 2012. The proportion of the average American getting the minimum recommended six hours of sleep each night has been consistently rising each year according to the National Health Interview Survey.Disconcerting is that 42% of leaders on average get six or fewer hours of sleep each night. Click To Tweet
Rest in The Bible
The Bible is very clear about the importance of rest. This is seen in God giving a clear mandate for the Sabbath. After six days of creation, God rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3). This was not due to a direct need of God to rest but rather he was setting a pattern from the beginning of creation for humanity. We see he sets this pattern as a command for creation in Exodus 20:8-11.
“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter… For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.”
The word “Sabbath” is related to a Hebrew root that means “cease” or “stop.” God commanded His people to cease their labor, so they could rest, refresh, and refuel.
Systems that Promote Rest
Leaders are getting less rest and yet it is essential to lead well and a Biblical mandate to ensure that leaders refuel.
One of the principle tasks of a leader is to unify the efforts of the team to achieve common goals. It takes a clear vision, good communication and a lot of patient reinforcement to “get everyone playing the same piece of music!” This means that you will need all the time and rest you can get to be effective and efficient.
What’s a Leader To Do?
Here’s a look into some of my thinking early in my career: “I only have so many hours in the day. How can I maintain a unified outside-looking message that reinforces our intentional corporate brand? How can I sustain our processes and procedures to produce consistent results from our team?”
I think you’ll agree with me that the leader’s plate is full. In this article, I’ll share a tip that anyone can use to lead well while gaining valuable time in their schedule. Ensuring there is more time to pause and rest, setting patterns and systems in your life as a leader that engages your team and lifts some of the leader’s burdens is the goal.
Recruit the Help of a Simple System
Have you ever thought of your policy manual as a resource to help you lead better? I instituted an organizational policy that was a great help in the area of outside-facing branding and inward-facing best practices. We called this our one-over-one policy.
Often a system is what helps us manage our daily in order to lead toward the big picture.
Just as the pattern of the Sabbath was created to help Israel stop and rest, the systems we create as leaders can enable us and our teams to stop and rest and become more effective and efficient. This can be done with a simple policy.
Here’s a Summary of the Policy:
Any decision regarding the alteration of corporate messaging, organizational procedures, or the procurement of equipment or materials which would result in changes to the way we do business or the appearance of our organization, must be approved by the next higher level of supervisor, before being implemented by a supervisor or his direct reports.
This was a simple policy but one that added accountability that ultimately saved many people hours. An effective system is worth its weight in gold when effectively implemented by the whole team. Stop leading exhausted with this policy.
Using this policy accomplishes multiple objectives:
- It raises the awareness of supervisors and your people regarding the importance of the corporate branding and procedures that we have in place.
- It recruits the help of middle and upper-tier supervisors to help maintain consistency in these important areas.
- It allows for creative thought and change, while providing guidelines that prevent ineffective or unproductive ideas to grow.
- It leverages the time of the leader by providing a structured, yet collaborative way to stay the coarse while providing a roadmap for new ideas and suggestions.
Every leader can use this policy to improve his or her leadership while also saving valuable time. Incorporating a simple policy like the one above is a no-brainer. It encourages mutual accountability, vertical integration, and can help you orchestrate your organization’s branding and team’s efforts.
Pause and Reflect: Leading Exhausted?
- What systems or patterns are in place for your organization that reinforces rest?
- Can you implement this policy to save you and your team time?
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