Leaders are WHOLE people. Even though many thrive on being productive and creating success, I have coached many leaders who climb the corporate ladder only to realize the ladder is leaning against the WRONG WALL.
I’ve also coached leaders who have expressed regret for having invested more time in their careers than with their own families—and now, their kids are grown and they’ve lost that time. So, they focus on time with their grandkids in retirement and live with regret for time missed with their own children.
Neither of these situations are happy places to be, and it often is the result of not seeing ourselves as WHOLE people, who are more than what our careers define us to be.
And beyond that, when we acknowledge and care for our WHOLE selves, this allows us to be the BEST version of ourselves when we are at work.
In my time as a leader, a business owner, a wife, a mom, a friend, a daughter, a member of my church—I’ve discovered a few things that help me make sure I’m honoring myself as a WHOLE PERSON. Maybe a few of these lessons I’ve learned will be helpful for you:
- MAKE TIME FOR REFLECTION. While I love being productive, I don’t want to go so fast that I miss out on what’s actually meaningful. I don’t want to rush decisions about where I invest time without asking myself the bigger questions (questions relating to impact, legacy, values). Journaling regularly can be a great way to reflect, but there are others too! I recommend finding a way to reflect that works for you.
- MAKE TIME FOR FAMILY. I really love my family. At the end of the day, my family is such a huge part of what motivates me to do the work I do. And I don’t want to miss valuable experiences with them that won’t be possible forever. When it comes to choosing between work and family (sometimes, work DOES have to take priority), these questions are helpful for me: What will I, 10 years from now, be most proud of doing today? What most aligns with my values? What is my real priority?
- MAKE TIME FOR FUN & RELAXATION. Let me say this loud and clear: It’s NOT selfish to do this. Having fun, relaxing, doing activities that fill you up, give you energy, bring creativity, and make you happy, is absolutely for you, but it’s also for the other people in your life who depend on you. You can’t pour out something you haven’t poured in. Pouring IN sets an example for those who look up to you that caring for yourself is a good thing. It also makes you the best YOU for the people around you. Think about what activities bring inspiration and actually SCHEDULE those activities into your calendar on a regular basis.
In the Coach Approach to Leadership—the intensive leadership development program we offer to leaders and leadership teams—we’re passionate about developing the WHOLE leader.
If you’re interested in learning more about our program, schedule a discovery call.