Boundless Leadership is when we know everything is possible, and we have a deep and strong centre that allows us to explore the edges of what is possible. I’m interested in what blocks our progress in boundless leadership. What stops us from developing a strong centre, and what keeps us from moving past the edges.
In a survey to my tribe, I asked, “What are your biggest challenges at work?”
Here are the top 3 answers:
- Getting enough exercise and rest.
- Staying on top of my work.
- Dealing with constant interruptions.
What this tells us:
The pace and pressure of work has not decreased with the advent of technology, only accelerated it. There is a pervasive sense of needing to deliver, at all costs. How we interact and manage our work is failing us.
I was dismayed to see the top result: “Getting enough exercise and rest.” This is a chronic leadership failing that has devastating effects in all aspects of our work.
It is our core responsibility as leaders to show up at our best.
Without health and vitality, our capacity to interact is deflated.
Without health and vitality, our capacity to think is crippled.
Without health and vitality, our capacity to inspire is flatlined.
My next question on the survey was, “What is the biggest problem you need to solve in your leadership?” The top three answers were:
- Being seen as a visionary leader.
- Producing effective strategy.
- Having difficult conversations with confidence.
Not getting enough rest and exercise is directly affecting the capacity to deal with the biggest problems! Not putting our own health as the number one priority is actually putting all of our work aspirations and responsibilities at risk.
It’s not just self care though. That’s the basic foundation that needs urgent attention.
What I often see is that leaders delay or defer their opportunities for professional development. Many lack the leadership skills for visionary thinking, crafting effective strategy, and the skills to have the conversations that matter. These are core leadership skills, and what my tribe have identified as the top must-solve challenges!
It’s easy to say ‘no’ to development opportunities. There are always excuses - often very good ones - that keep us from putting our own development first. Excuses like,
The timing is wrong.
The staff’s development is more important right now.
My partner is already studying.
I have a child’s concert recital on.
It’s my birthday.
Here’s the thing. At the end of our lives, imagine one of these two futures:
“I said ‘no’ to opportunities more often than I said ‘yes’.”
What has this meant for you? For your work? For your family?
“I said ‘yes’ to myself more often than I thought I should or could.”
What difference has this made to you? What kind of impact did it allow you to make? How has your family benefited from a more healthy and resilient version of you? How has your work shifted as a result?
Where does your health and vitality fit on your list of priorities? What opportunities are you passing over right now? What decision will you make now?
p.s. Invest in yourself and your leadership skills at the Leadership Retreat in Tasmania Nov 2-5. I would love to take you to the edge and see what is possible. Details here.