In our past few blogs, we have been writing about Becoming What We Practice, Managing Emotions During Stressful Times, and Reflecting, As A Valuable Practice for Leaders.
In coaching conversations with leaders, they wonder how to build or maintain resilience in times of unprecedented stress in the workplace (and in life). How can they build resilience and sustain energy when faced with serious fatigue?
In a recent Deloitte and Workplace Intelligence survey of more than 2,000 Senior Leaders in multiple countries, more than 70% said they’re considering quitting their job to support their wellbeing, and an even larger percent said that improving their wellbeing is more important than advancement in their careers:
Leadership or wellbeing is not a compromise we can continue to make. Leaders must build resilience for their own wellbeing to do the challenging work of leading others. The work of leadership today requires an ability to strike a balance between compassion and confidence, and vulnerability and resolve. When leaders take care of themselves, they are more able to sustain this delicate balance, without signaling their fatigue, or striving for unrealistic and inauthentic positivity.
A CEO without oxygen is of no use to anyone. Knowing this, and recognizing the downstream effects of burnout, is often a painful but necessary starting place.
So, how do leaders build a practice of putting the oxygen mask on first? They must begin with a healthy sense of empathy for their own situation. They must see that having empathy for themselves is not about wallowing or self-pity. It’s a realistic practice of seeing their fatigue (self-awareness), paying attention to the telltale symptoms of burn-out (self-regulation), and doing something about it before it becomes destructive for them, and everyone they work with (social-awareness).
Here are some empathetic practices that build the much-needed reserves for leadership:
I founded The Red Rock Consultancy for the specific purpose of working with C-level executives, senior leaders and their leadership teams as an integral leadership development resource.