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“Freedom is people realising they are their own leader.” Diane Nash

Leading Your Team Starts WIth Leading Yourself

2 MIN READ

Leading your team well starts with you rising to the challenge of leading yourself. It’s a vital starting point for everyone in leadership, but especially for those running a business. Rates of anxiety, depression and burnout are horrifying for business owners. It’s a fact that 82% of entrepreneurs face burn out at least once in their career.

Leading yourself in strength and autonomy is a life-long mission that will have new mountains unfolding at every step of the journey. We could spend months on why it’s so important to nurture yourself, and how to keep reaching new heights of your own potential. But let’s focus today on some essential reminders to keep you on the straight and narrow of your own self-care. This is the only way you will experience increased success in leading your team.

“Freedom is people realising they are their own leader.” Diane Nash

Establish Routines That Serve You

Take a look around the landscape of your “normal life”. Honestly evaluate how you’re going with managing the areas that are key to fulfilment and well-being. Boldly ask yourself if you’re happy with the state of your health, your relationships, your mindset and mood, your financial management, your business growth, and other areas that are important to you as a person. Build the systems you need to grow your business sustainably.

Build Relationships That Lift You Up

Jim Rohn says we are the sum of the five people we spend the most time with. I’ve found this to be so literally true that it has made me quite ruthless with the way I manage my calendar. Your friends, family, colleagues, and acquaintances all leave a deposit as they move in and out of your life. Make sure you’re filling your mindset bank with ambition, learning and encouragement.

Defend Boundaries For Fulfilment

It’s all too easy to let things slide. To say yes to a small thing when you should have said no. To compromise on choices with your health, time, finances and general well-being. Only you control your choices, and only you have the power to say no when there are more important, valuable things to take care of. Your life will be defined by what you say no to.

Embrace Change With Every Part Of Your Being

If you want to enjoy different outcomes in your business it means moving away from the old into the new. It will take some bold steps to learn new skills and some clever thinking to resolve problems that will arise along the way. But the life you want doesn’t exist in how things were, or even how they are now. Every single thing you have ever wanted can only come when you create change. This is how you can achieve new freedom in business.

Guard Your Outlook

Feeling afraid, pessimistic, unworthy and overwhelmed are all normal human responses to hard times. But none of these feelings are the absolute truth. They’re real because you are feeling them, but they’re also fleeting. They can be dealt with by reminding yourself there are greater truths of success, ambition and empowerment that you can bet on. How you see determines what you see. 

Why busienss leaders must work less

Why Leaders Simply Must Work Less

3 MIN READ

Self care for business owners is often conceived as an “indulgent luxury” that many believe they can’t afford. Are you like the average business leader wearing your long work hours like a badge of honour? Many owners pour blood sweat and tears into building their company with the pride of a martyr. Have you stopped to consider the price you are really paying?

I’m a big fan of hard work. However, if all that effort is not actually bringing you the results you want, maybe it’s time to look for a better way. There are several reasons that looking after yourself equates to preserving the best interests of your company. Self care for business owners comes down to realising that business health and personal health go hand in hand.

A Tired Body Can’t Work Well

Did you know the average person spends 649,401 hours sleeping during their lifetime? I bet there are some days you’d love to stack up 10 or 20 of those hours and enjoy them all in one go! Caring for yourself does not only come down to managing a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. SleepFoundation.org tells us that sleep is just as important as diet and exercise.

Crafting a lifestyle that allows you to go to bed early most nights of the week will work wonders for your personal health. As a result, your performance at work will be more energised, focused and productive. Set up some firm boundaries around how you manage your schedule to make sure you are in the driver’s seat of your sleep pattern.

A Tired Brain Can’t Solve Problems

Exhaustion will always lead you quickly to survival mode. As a result, your vision narrows to focus only on perceived threats. Your ability to reason progressively shuts down. Reactivity replaces deliberation. A real or even perceived threat can help mobilise your attention. However, this is not the approach of a well-balanced leader. When it comes to solving complex problems that have multiple variables, you need your highest cognitive resources.

Real-life has certainly shown us that threats can come out of the blue. A clear, well-rested brain can gauge multiple factors of any given challenge much more effectively than one that is tired and overwhelmed. Set aside time each week for thinking. Yoga might suit you, or meditation. Perhaps you’re more like me and love getting your heart rate up with some exercise. Do whatever you need to do to clear your mind so you can approach challenges with your best foot forward.

A Tired Heart Can’t Connect

I’ve never met a business owner who was not motivated by the desire to spend more time with the people they love. Being your own boss always involves the freedom to enjoy healthy fulfilling relationships with those you hold dear. When we’re looking at ways to increase levels of self care for business owners, this must be overtly connected to enhancing intimate connections.

When you miss out on sleep you become snappy, irritable and stressed. A recent study from the National Sleep Foundation found that 25% of participating couples were too sleep-deprived to even have sex. Exhaustion and burnout were never the aims you set out to achieve in your business. If you have been too busy to change this situation for yourself, perhaps you would consider adjusting your lifestyle for the sake of the relationships you have with your family and friends.

Why busienss leaders must work less

“Leaders live by choice, not by accident.” ~ Mark Gorman

A Tired Mind Can’t Create

Your business growth relies first and foremost upon creativity, innovation, and mastery of change. Prioritising time to rest and recharge will not only create space for more of your brilliant ideas. It will also a ignite the leader in you so your team are also encouraged to bring their best innovations and ideas.

Overworking suffocates your business growth. Far too many owners spend too long in video conferences and phone calls, too much time in front of your computer, and too many hours running the hamster wheel of business life. This results in you inadvertently wasting the very resource your business needs to remain vibrant and alive: creativity. Nurture your inventive self, and show up at work fresh for your team to champion their creativity as well.

A Tired Spirit Can’t Imagine

Effective self care for business owners celebrates you as the inspired genius who conceived this entire operation in the first place. It was your big idea that got this business off the ground. Things have continued to move forward because of your insight and your creative flair. The one thing that only you can offer your growing company is the inspiration of a leader.

Perhaps it would be wise to pause and ask yourself about the life you want to create moving forward. With so much up in the air right now, it is the perfect time to conduct a bit of an overhaul. At the end of the day, you may as well pursue the life you actually want, right?

 

Power Doesn’t Come From Within

3 MIN READ

Empowering yourself as a leader starts with connecting your personal capacity with the opportunities you can find in the world. Facing upheaval often causes many of us to question how much control we really have in our lives. There are so many things we simply have no power over in life. However, it’s important to remember that even amidst the most brutal circumstances, we are powerful to withstand and even affect dramatic change.

Quite simply, we do not lack power. But sometimes, it’s easy to become confused about how to activate that power to face everyday challenges. Massive problems arise when you try to empower yourself as a leader by trying to manufacture a power you can’t actually believe.

You Need To Prove Your Capacity To Believe It

You are a smart person. You’re intelligent, thoughtful, and reflective about yourself and the difference you want to make. As a result, you need evidence for your beliefs. A motivational seminar will make you feel great, but it won’t necessarily prove that you are powerful. Positive affirmations will help you, but they won’t allow you to actually demonstrate your capacity. Even when you visualise yourself rising to new heights, you still lack the experiential evidence that your highly evolved brain needs to be convinced that you can really reach those peaks.

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I’d like to suggest that the journey of empowering yourself as a leader relies on you putting your own power into action. Like all of us, you have a unique power primed for activation within yourself. To realise your unique capacity, you need to embrace the reality that empowerment can only be situational.

The opportunities we need to empower ourselves as leaders come from the world around us

I lost my voice in 2009 after working through a sinus infection I developed while teaching. The effects of the injury sent me into a spiral of powerlessness which lasted a total of eighteen gruelling months of isolation. Progressively, I developed a very healthy depression complete with flourishing drinking habit. I was a mess, emotionally, physically, spiritually and socially. It was the most disempowered I have ever felt.

Making positive progress through this dark time depended on me proving to myself that I really was in control of myself.  To stop drinking and start to win over the depression, I had to go without the drink. Then I had to start performing the actions of a happy person: running, laughing, dancing, loving my friends and family actively. This season taught me lessons that have helped me ever since. It just might help you muster up your own fullness as well:

TODAY’S BEST IS TOMORROW’S BENCHMARK:

Following a pathway of genuine improvement is the only way to empower yourself as a leader, because this provides daily proof that you can withstand and even create change. This means taking on a lifestyle of constant increase, always pursuing new heights. You get to enjoy the rewards of this moment while taking in the panoramic views of the bright future ahead.

Living this way means that you can resist backing down or making compromises, even when tough times come. This mindset means this part of your life is better than it has ever been before, and it can only get better from here.

NEVER BREAK A DEAL WITH YOURSELF:

You will never believe you are powerful if you watch yourself fail at commitments. Honestly, you are better to never make the commitment in the first place than make one and break it. This is because your self-respect is the central pillar of your power. Once you make a promise to yourself, you must keep it if you want to succeed in empowering yourself as a leader.

I encourage you to pause before you make a commitment because failing to achieve them can have a damaging and even destructive effect. Instead, try this approach to goal setting:

SET UP WINS, NOT GOALS:

Rather than being set in stone, your goals can function more as an expectation of the sequence of wins you have set yourself up for. You will always get better at being your best if you simply practice being that person in your daily life. To pursue any goal you must first let go of it. This relief from striving will prevent you from the burnout that comes from chasing big goals that seem unobtainable. And it will allow you to take new risks in business without the pressure of being tied to the outcome.

Remember your most reliable source of empowerment comes from the small smaller wins you achieve consistently. The greatest endeavour is making a life that allows you to string these wins together.

 

You can take each of these three approaches into every area of your life when empowering yourself as a leader. The attributes of self-respect, constant improvement, persistence, and celebrating wins will always offer more lasting reward than finite, limited progress. These attributes give us the lasting proof you need to believe that you are able to make a lasting difference.  Watch your own successful performance in the world, then transform that evidence into the belief that you can turn any disaster into an opportunity for growth and achievement.