By SCOTT COCHRANE
When your leadership battery is fully charged, everyone around you wins.
The leader sets the emotional and cultural tone for the team. When the leader’s personal energy is running strong, the entire culture benefits.
- Teams are more cohesive.
- Tough decisions are made with confidence.
- Tensions on the team are resolved in a healthy manner.
- The atmosphere is fun and positive.
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But when a leader’s battery is depleted, when their mind, soul and body are drained, everything changes. The entire team suffers when the leader’s emotional and physical energy hits the “red bar”.
During the Christmas season, leaders have a golden opportunity to unwind, replenish and recharge their personal batteries before the challenges of the New Year present themselves.
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How do you know if your own battery needs a recharge this Christmas?
These are some of the most common red bar indicators I have found in my own leadership:
When I drive to work, the way I react to other drivers tells me a lot about the condition of my soul. Does heavy traffic immediately push me into the high-irritability zone? That’s a warning sign I need to heed.
Pay attention to your own levels of irritability. They could be telling you that your personal battery is starting to run down.
The more replenished my soul, the more I tend to focus on the needs of others. When my personal agenda begins to trump all other considerations, that’s a real danger sign.
If you don’t seem to be concerned with the welfare of others as you once were, watch out. It could be that the red bar is appearing.
When my soul is in a good place, I can spot a moral problem a mile away. But when I am depleted, I can begin to convince myself that a minor indiscretion can be justified in the big picture.
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One time, during a depleted season, I was faced with a temptation to prop up a struggling not-for-profit organisation I led by accessing funds we were holding in trust. I found myself rationalising this clear violation by telling myself it was for the good of the constituents I was serving. Fortunately, I recognised the danger signs just in time.
Watch out when you find yourself justifying questionable decisions. Your red bar could be telling you something.
If something begins to tell you that you are in the danger zone, take advantage of the Christmas season to recharge yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Because your most effective leadership will only happen when your personal battery is fully charged.
Related post: Body, Mind, Soul
Scott is the vice president (International Ministries) of Willow Creek Association, an association that serves leaders through world-class leadership experiences and resources. To connect with him, email us at email@example.com. For more Thought Of The Week articles, click here.
Article republished with permission on Leaderonomics.com.