When your leadership battery is fully charged, everyone around you wins.
The leader sets the emotional and cultural tone for the team. And so when the leader’s personal energy is running strong the entire culture benefits.
Teams are more cohesive
Tough decisions are made with confidence
Tensions on the team are resolved in a healthy manner
The atmosphere is fun and positive
But when a leader’s battery is depleted, when their mind, soul and body are drained, everything changes. The entire team suffers when the leader’s emotional and physical energy hits the “red bar”.
How do you know if your own battery needs a recharge?
These are some of the most common red bar indicators I have found in my own leadership:
When I drive to work, the way I react to other drivers tells me a lot about the condition of my soul. Does heavy traffic immediately push me into the high-irritability zone? That’s a warning sign I need to heed.
Pay attention to your own levels of irritability. They could be telling you that your personal battery is starting to run down.
The more replenished my soul, the more I tend to focus on the needs of others. When my personal agenda begins to trump all other considerations that’s a real danger sign.
If you don’t seem to be concerned with the welfare of others as you once were, watch out. It could be that the red bar is appearing.
When my soul is in a good place I can spot a moral problem a mile away. But when I am depleted I can begin to convince myself that a minor indiscretion can be justified in the big picture.
One time, during a depleted season, I was faced with a temptation to prop up a struggling not-for-profit organization I led by accessing funds we were holding in trust. I found myself rationalizing this clear violation by telling myself it was for the good of the constituents I was serving. Fortunately, I recognized the danger signs just in time.
Watch out when you find yourself justifying questionable decisions. Your red bar could be telling you something.
And if it begins to tell you that you are in the danger zone, resolve to recharge yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually.
Because your most effective leadership will only happen when your personal battery is fully charged.
My leadership battery has been depleting for a while now and unfortunately, I am no longer able to hide it from my team. And today I got to the rationalizing stage and really got scared. Luckily, I did not take any action that would contradict my values, but I considered it. So definitely time for rest and recharging.
Marta, I applaud your self-awareness. Having the presence of mind to recognize the state of your personal depletion is huge. Now, as with every leader, you need to take the time to re-charge. Good luck, and continue to lead well…