Leaders Need Time To Rest & Recover

  1. Share
Impact of Leadership
0 0

It was probably nine years ago when I realized I was clueless on how to give myself rest and recover from the grind of leadership. I was in my WI CEO group from the MMAC (Metropolitan Milwaukee Area Chamber), listening to owners and leaders share how they look forward to time away from the office with their family. One guy talked about how he went away, ALONE, to Colorado to recharge his mind. He would use part of the day to strategize and the other part skiing which energized him. My mind was twisted in knots on how leaders could look forward to being away from the office. WOW! I was really immature and clueless as a leader.

 

Rest as a verb is defined as "ease work or movement in order to relax, refresh oneself, or recover strength."

 

As a noun, rest is defined as "an instance or period of relaxing or ceasing to engage in strenuous or stressful activity." 

 

Of course I used this knowledge immediately....YEAH RIGHT! 

 

I sat on this knowledge for four or five years till I finally heard WHY these leaders were taking time to REST & RECOVER from their leadership jobs.

 

First, REST is needed by everyone. Even God gave a day of rest because he knew the importance of leaders needing it. I used to think rest was an easy way to be lazy. Guess what? It can be exactly that. You give yourself permission to be lazy by napping, staying in your pajamas, binge watching your current show, reading a book that has nothing to do with leadership, etc. Everyone needs time to rest and take a break from the grind. Rest allows life to slow down. Or you might want to go for a hike, ride a bike, walk by the water, do a fun activity, etc. Rest is breaking away from the grind to give your mind a different speed. Talking time to rest is a wise and mature action. 

 

Second, RECOVER is what you gain after you rest. You are reading this blog because you don't want to be an average leader but one that makes an impact. You can't give what you don't have. It's vital you give yourself rest so you can gain strength in mind, body and soul. As a leader, your ideas and actions will determine the direction of your team and company. Would you want a tired pilot flying your plane? Heck no! Why is it okay for you to lead your business tired? It's not. I had no idea this was a problem till people I trust told me "you need to take time away from work to recharge your batteries!" People could see what I couldn't. As a leader, I know you are so focused on helping your company conquer the big goal in front of you but don't miss the importance of you protecting yourself so you can be the leader they need.

 

As a child I heard often from adults, "life goes by like a blink of an eye." As a child, I had no idea what that meant and I didn't believe it. I was a little kid and all I wanted to do was be old enough to go to any movie, drive a car, get out of school, make money and go to Taco Bell anytime I wanted. Okay, you can judge me but remember I was a child. This weekend I went back to the University of Tennessee with my family for the first time since I graduated in 2000. I thought I would have gone back each year to watch the VOLS play against whatever SEC team was showing up at Neyland Stadium. How could twenty-two years go by and I never come back to the campus to watch a game? Another confirmation was when tailgating before the game, I told a college student that I graduated here in 2000. Her response, "that is when I was born!" with a smile. I smiled back and thought "OMG!!!" Once again, "life goes by like a blink of an eye" was 100% correct.

 

This year was the first time when I took TWO vacations to gain rest and recover from my job. I didn't think it was a big deal till my kids said it in the car on our last night of vacation. My daughter said "I can't believe we have taken two vacations this year. We have never done that!" What kind of legacy am I leaving for my kids and team? Am I teaching them the importance of working hard, building a team that can cover while I am out, that you can work hard and play hard, that spending time with your family is so important to life? YOU BET! 

 

Conclusion, you can't give what you don't have. Also, your team and family is watching how you lead. Show these people that REST produces strength when you RECOVER as a leader. 

 

NEED MORE? 

Hire us to speak at your next event

Check out our library of 100+ podcasts aid in your growth as a leader!

Go to our YouTube and LinkedIn pages for more encouraging content. 

 

Comments

To leave a comment, login or sign up.

Related Content

0
Going Through the Storm
Practicing Resilience in the Face of Trials Due to unfortunate genetics (mine), my eight-year-old son has been required to wear a very conspicuous orthodontic device day and night. It’s officially called a headgear and consists of a metal bar over his face, connecting a pad on his forehead to a pad on his chin. It pulls his upper jaw forward, ensuring that his bite will be aligned, and his teeth will one day be beautifully straight. He will have to wear it for a couple of months.   I feel for him. He has noticed lots of quizzical stares and overheard small children asking their parents to identify what he’s wearing.   He seems to be accepting it, in moments. The other night, while on a walk around the neighborhood, he jokingly told me that he’s developed an entire story about how the bar on his face is like a villain that he battles as he pedals his bike.   Yet, my Mama heart wishes this wasn’t the case. This is hard. I know it to be true because I had to do the same thing. When I was in the third grade, I had large blue glasses and the exact same headgear apparatus. I remember during class, drool would accidentally drip from my mouth and onto my desk. I would wipe it away as quickly as possible, praying that none of my classmates had noticed.   I wouldn’t have wished that on anyone, much less my son.   When we received the recommendation from the orthodontist, I almost told him, “Absolutely not,” but my husband, ever the practical one, insisted and I relented.   Why?   Because my husband is right. At the end of the headgear wearing trial which only lasts a couple months, there is a beautiful smile, which lasts a lifetime.   In this, there is a lesson: we can’t avoid the trial and expect to receive the positive results. We must go through it.   Nature reflects this principle. When a storm is brewing in the sky, cattle take notice and begin to move away from it. Since the cattle are slow, the storm eventually catches up to them and instead of avoiding the storm, the cattle find themselves smack in the middle of it and for an extended amount of time.   Buffalo, in contrast, sense a storm brewing and begin to move toward it, meeting the storm head on and going through it. In moving against the storm, they minimize the amount of time spent in it and decrease its damaging effects.   As leaders, we are to be the buffalo, not the bull. We are to help others face the trials, endure the storm and come out on the other side, more resilient. If we simply run away or avoid the trials when they arise—if we ignore the impending budget cuts, the supply chain issues, the staffing gaps or the volatile board members—we usually end up amid the storm anyway, watching rain run down our faces while we try to scramble for protection.   If, instead, we decide to see the storm on the horizon, create a plan for its approach and head toward it, we see that the storm wasn’t as bad as we had anticipated it would be.   I once found myself caught in the middle of a disagreement between my co-worker and my boss. In an effort to care for my co-worker, I had unwittingly seemed to side with her. She then proceeded to verbally bash my boss. I did not participate in the bashing, but I did leave the interaction feeling uncomfortable. Would my boss hear about the conversation and think that I had spoken ill of him? Or, worse, thought ill of him?   I decided to call him right away.   I apologized for my participation in the incident and for any confusion that might arise. I am proud to say that I faced that storm head on. I took action, and in doing so, weathered it for a much shorter time had I not done that.   There is no such thing as a life of endlessly sunny skies. While we don’t have to chase the storms, we can equip ourselves and our teams for them when they do come. The more we weather, the better we will be at weathering them.   I’ve been a mom for seven years. I have weathered some storms so far— surprise surgeries, changes in schools, a pandemic shutting down the world—and have become much more resilient as a result.   This headgear thing will soon become a blip on the radar of life, but until then, I’ll stand by my son as he weathers this storm, encouraging him forward through it, instead of backward away from it.   May we all be the buffalo.* ###   *This post was loosely based on IOL Podcast Episode #142 with Sharon Hulce, who mentions that when she was young, her father told her to, “be the buffalo.” Check it out!   Author: Ashley Buenger         
0
Leading Like Shepherds
When we talk about good leaders in history we often think about glory. We think about their accomplishments, their strengths, and their greatness. We think about their renown and their authority. We think about standing on stages, accepting awards and accolades and names being written in history books.   We rarely hear the term “leadership” and think of a lowly shepherd wading knee deep in sheep excrement. We don’t think about the muck and filth clinging to the tread of their work boots or the stench of the flock stuck in their nose. We don’t think about the long hours of poking and prodding groups of anxious and obstinate livestock to safe heights or the meticulous preparation it takes before moving a flock of sheep to new pasture.   But we should.   The reality of good leadership looks a lot more like lowly shepherding than Rocky Balboa atop the stone steps in Philly.   The Bible mentions shepherding over 200 times and often as a metaphor for leadership. Good leaders are like good shepherds, caring well for their flocks. According to the Bible, a good shepherd is one who does the following: Protects the sheep from wild animals Makes sure the sheep don’t eat poisonous plants Keeps the sheep fed and watered Searches for the lost sheep until they are found Bandages the wounds of the sheep Breaks up fights between the sheep   A bad shepherd did none of those things and even worse, simply used the sheep as meat to appease their hungry stomachs.   It’s clear from that list that shepherding was not a job full glory. Rather, it was a humble job, one that required a lot of patience, consistency, understanding and well, love.   The reason a good leader is like a shepherd is because many people (myself included) often act like sheep. Consider the similarities: We are often anxious and afraid of things, especially of change We often have small disputes with one another that cause unnecessary tension and get in the way of accomplishing goals We are prone to fall into hierarchal tendencies and treat others poorly to maintain status within this system We don’t like to be hungry, tired or sick (duh) and when we are, it greatly impacts how we act We wander (and sometimes unwittingly create problems) when we don’t understand what we are doing, why we are doing it, and who is leading us   So then, in turn, leading as a good shepherd looks a lot like the following: Comforting those you lead, reminding them that they need not be afraid because you, as the leader, go with them and will take care of them. Sometimes this looks like simply listening to their fears or worries. Creating peace between people, helping to settle disputes, having patience with people when they choose to argue and continuing to encourage them to love one another Noticing the weak and helping to strengthen them, challenging those in positions of power or strength to be generous and thoughtful about others that they might help strengthen the weak as well Helping to take care of basic needs and/or noticing when those you lead are having trouble getting these needs met. This might look like offering extra time off or encouraging rest or even having snacks available in the office. Casting vision for the future, reminding your team of the shared goals, showing up as their leader, especially when they need you, and of course, getting those who veer off track back on track, no matter how much extra time or energy that might take   This is hard work. It’s messy and tiring. It means spending many more days with the sheep in the muck than on a stage accepting praise.   But, as you can see, leadership is a high calling.   For a sheep to lie down in a pasture, its needs must be met, the needs I mentioned above—to feel safe, to be fed, to be at peace with other sheep and to know that its shepherd is nearby.   A good leader is called to lead in such a way that their sheep lie down in the pasture. May we understand the humble reality of this kind of leadership and may we be such leaders.   Written by: Ashley Buenger