It requires you to be congruent across all areas of your life.
To lead by example, not just by your words...
Others do as you do, not as you say.
Your body language is 75% more impactful than your words, which only represent 7%!
How are you showing up? Do you bring your own "stuff" to the table, or are you able to leave it outside the boardroom and in the carpark?
What do you do to maintain your resilience? As a leader you have to ensure you can be unaffected by the opinions of others, the finger pointing and judgement.
Who is supporting you to ensure you function at your best?
Do you have a mentor?
Are you working with a coach?
Are you part of a mastermind group who can hold you accountable?
The truth is, that everyone needs to have a sense of being part of something. It's how we are made, to be social beings. None of us is an island, although, as a leader, you may often feel alone. Being independent is a pre-request, right?
What do you do to take time out? When was the last time you actually made time for you?
How do you practice self-care? This is not a dirty word!
Thing is, as a leader, when you are depleted, you make mistakes and when mistakes are made, the people you are responsible for suffer. And everyone points the finger at you!
And all this could be avoided once you become aware of where you are.
Are you stressed?
-How are you sleeping?
-How early is too early for that drink after work?
-Do you drink every night?
Do you ever feel overwhelmed?
-How often do you find yourself snapping at your partner / children/ staff?
-Do you want to scream?
-Punch the wall?
-Hide in a hole?
-Run away and never come back?
These, and more, are all signs that maybe, just maybe there is too much on your shoulders. Or that it's perhaps been too long since you took a break, went away or just took time out to have some fun!
Fun, yes fun! remember that word?
The reason this is crucial for you to get right, is that the knock on effect of you not being cared for or feeling supported, is that you begin to feel detached. In time, you begin to isolate yourself from your team, family and eventually your community and feel lonely. At first you don't notice, until one day, you realise that you are still in the office at 11pm for the 4th night running. Time to take action!
The fact is, that when we feel lonely, our immune system becomes less effective, which leads to the development of illnesses such as diabetes, strokes and even heart disease.
Self-care is self-preservation, and when you continually keep your own batteries charged, not only are you able to give more and be more, you are also happier and guess what, healthier :)
As Oprah Winfrey says "you cannot give what you do not have"
So, be mindful when you are a leader. Take short and regular breaks. Walk outdoors to recharge, practice breathing - yes breathing, join a yoga class, meditate...