It’s ironic that successful self-leadership has more to do with others and less to do with self. In an article I recently shared with the Luminate community, I outline three important lessons about self-leadership that I’ve learned throughout my personal life and professional career. I encourage you to check out the article and the other thought-leadership content from the Luminate community.
Years ago, I worked on a very difficult project. For one year, I put in long hours at the office and even when I was home my mind was on the challenges to be overcome. It crowded out time for family and friends. My performance failed to reflect the effort being put in. After a year, I lost hope the project would be embraced by enough key stakeholders that it could meet its objectives, and eventually I left the firm because my health was suffering.
Recently Katie Stallard and I taught a Connection Culture workshop at a leading healthcare organization and I gave the closing keynote speech at the ATD/Columbia University School of Business Healthcare Summit in New York City. In conversations with people I met, I sensed a growing alarm and frustration about rising levels of burnout in healthcare.
Wally Bock, a frequent contributor to ConnectionCulture.com and a leadership coach, recently published a new book titled Become a Better Boss One Tip at a Time. Wally’s practical, effective advice always resonates with readers and his book addresses common leadership challenges.
Here’s what Wally had to say about his new book and favorite leadership tips:
Amy has been under increasing stress. Her boss is pressuring her to significantly boost the productivity of the team she manages. She’s working longer hours and spending more time on work while away from her office. Adding to that, Amy feels stress from her commute to work and the financial pressures to support her family. The time she once spent on self-care – getting sufficient sleep, exercising and engaging in leisure activities with family and fiends – has gradually been squeezed out of her schedule. Sound familiar?
It’s fashionable in the media and politics today to be quick to speak, to dominate conversations and be self-righteous. We see this frequently in movies and television shows too. These attributes are thought to be signs of intelligence, assertiveness and conviction. Although they may be effective at gaining television ratings and press attention, they are counterproductive when it comes to communicating, connecting with others and leading effectively.
One of history’s greatest leaders and communicators was President Abraham Lincoln who led our country through the particularly divisive time of the Civil War. He was known as a patient, careful listener who was slow to speak and slow to become angry, wisdom he may have picked up from reading the Bible (see James 1:19). These attributes contributed to his reputation for being thoughtful, and for possessing wisdom and good judgment. They also helped him develop a strong network of supporters.
Kate Otto has a message for fellow Millennials. Her work experience at an HIV/AIDS clinic in Indonesia inspired her to research the power of personal relationships. She saw that practicing certain attitudes contributed to developing meaningful relationships at work. These relationships made her more productive and increased her feelings of satisfaction and fulfillment.