There is no disputing that excellence in leadership is both the core and the catalyst for company growth, team productivity, and overall employee satisfaction in any organization – across all genres of business.
Leadership, in its purest form, inspires and encourages people to move towards the company’s vision, take pride of ownership in their work, and to be creative as they look for new solutions and more savvy ways of getting tasks and projects completed. Leadership is not a role on the organizational chart or a title on a nameplate; it’s a personal responsibility and deliberate decision to build up, serve, and inspire others to the next level greatness, personally and professionally.
Good leaders drive employee and team engagement, empower people to reach their fullest potential, to take risks, and not be afraid to fail. Good leaders lead by example; they exemplify the characteristics that influence a vision-centric corporate culture and drive teams to work towards goals together. A good leader plants seeds and cultivates an environment for future leaders to grow and flourish.
So, what’s the secret to stellar leadership? How is it that some people are excellent leaders with teams that thrive, and others are ineffective leaders that chase people out the door or suffocate their team’s enthusiasm and brilliance with their poor leadership skills?
The key to great leadership is the least talked about, yet the most critical skill required to be an extraordinary leader at home, at work, in school, in the community, frankly, everywhere. The main ingredient to successful leadership is self-care. Self-care is the most underrated and underutilized skill required to be an exemplary leader.
You cannot have quality leadership without self-care. Self-care, as defined in A Life Ignited’s “4-Tier Leadership Ladder Training”, is walking in the fullness of who you are called to be (mind, body, and spirit), so you can do your best, give your best, and inspire and motivate the best and brightest in others.
Before you can lead a team or an individual to incredible heights, you must be able to climb. You should be able to endure the journey, the highlights and hardships, stay motivated, and resilient. You must know how to ignite and encourage others to act. People must know, like, and trust you. You cannot effectively lead others if you have not built the muscles required to inspire people, to encourage people, to celebrate them, or to guide them by your positive example. Self-care of mind, body, and spirit is both the foundation and the force behind effective leadership.
Infuse these self-care inspired leadership qualities into your daily leadership role and behaviors to become a more effective leader: One that encourages people to do their best, own their greatness, and ultimately cultivates an environment where new leaders will emerge. Do the personal work within yourself to become a better leader, a better co-worker – a better you.
Self-Care Strategies for the “Mind” of a Leader
See the good in others. Understand that everyone has a unique backstory. Learn to be more accepting of people and who they are as individuals. Support people and be empathetic as they go through challenging times. Play up their strengths, not their weaknesses.
Stop “Command and Control” Syndrome
Have enough self-confidence in yourself to give up control and allow others to have thoughts and ideas different from yours. Cultivate innovation. Be open to new ideas and be so secure in yourself that you are not threatened by other people’s gifts and talents.
Serve & Celebrate People
Before you can be a great leader, you must know how to be a great follower. Even if you are “in charge”, step down into the trenches with the team. Let go of ego and superiority complexes and get to know your team. Serve them. And when they accomplish great things, celebrate them individually.
Self-Care Strategies for the “Body” of a Leader
Can you physically keep up with the demands of your role as a leader? Take care of your body, so you can guide the team and have the wherewithal to stand for them and with them as you all journey towards the greater vision of the organization.
Advocate Health & Wellness
Promote health & wellness in your office. Give your team permission to take walking breaks throughout the day. Challenge them to eat healthier foods more frequently, see their doctor for routine health and wellness visits, and encourage a good diet in the office by bringing in fruit and healthy snacks.
Rest & Disengage
You cannot pour from an empty cup. Take time away from the office to rest, refuel, and recharge your batteries. Prevent burnout, bad attitudes, and negativity within your team by encouraging others to do the same. Come back from your time away reignited and ready to give the team your best-rested self!
Self-Care Strategies for the “Spirit” of a Leader
Your team may not be where you want them to be, but they are becoming what you need them to be. Be grateful for everyone’s gifts and, more important, be thankful for your role of leader. Do not take your role for granted. Be grateful you have been trusted with the lives and professional journeys of others. Let gratefulness and a spirit of thankfulness light your path.
Be Authentic & Transparent
Be comfortable in your own skin. You, too, are a work in progress, and every day, you are learning, growing, and working through your own insecurities. Take off the mask and let people see the real you –
your tests and your triumphs. People are innately inspired by “struggle to survival” stories. Let your team in. Show them you are human, too. Be vulnerable and encourage your team to do the same. Build and grow together.
Release What No Longer Serves You or Others on Your Team
Work to become more self-aware of who you are as a leader. Understand how your team perceives you and work to cultivate better relationships within the team. Free yourself from ineffective and unproductive ways of leadership and allow yourself to change with both the needs of the team and the demands of your business. Don’t be stubborn or stuck in your ways. Take risks, grow, and stretch. Innovate from the inside out. Be an example to your team that change is a good thing.
Ready to become a stellar leader that influences greatness in others? Look within yourself for the answers. You are the solution.
Self-care is personal development for the purpose of bringing out greatness in others. Pursue next-level excellence in leadership by deciding, and then committing, to self-care. Build up your team by building up your mind, body, and spirit, first.
Leave a Reply