The health of your inner-world directly affects your ability to lead effectively.
Leaders are often uncomfortable in dealing with their inner world; matters of the heart. But the health of your inner world has a direct and profound bearing on your effectiveness as a leader.
If your inner world is in order, you will project a light, optimistic nature which buoys the spirits of everyone around you. But if your inner world is dark, uptight or depleted, that is precisely what you will project. And followers flee from such leadership.
Here’s the good news. To a very large extent, the health of your inner world is entirely within your control, or at least influence. Your inner world is fed by whatever you expose it to.
That is why it is so important to pay close attention to these three key diets of a healthy inner world:
– Your media diet
How much destruction and devastation do you expose yourself to every week via television and internet news services? Over-exposure to the horrors of today’s world will deplete you.
Now, let’s be clear. The alternative is not to live in some naïve bubble, closed off to the real world. You need to be aware of the realities facing the world. You cannot close yourself off to what is happening in the world’s conflict zones, mass shootings, nor any other troubling news.
Just be careful you’re not gorging yourself on negative media images and stories to the detriment of your inner world.
– Your relational diet
Your relational world is filled with inner-world fillers and inner-world drainers. You can’t avoid toxic people all the time, nor should you. Leaders must be in relational contact with people who are in need of a positive influence. But you need to ensure that your world is also filled with those who can feed your inner world in positive, healthy ways.
Manage this balance carefully.
– Your entertainment diet
We have never had as many entertainment options at our fingertips as we have today. With a flick of a button (or voice command) you have access to an almost endless supply of movies, tv shows, concerts, documentaries and more.
Some of these are designed to be enlightening, enriching and joyful. Others can leave you feeling empty and hollow.
Leaders can’t afford to over-indulge in soul-depleting entertainment.
There’s a bible verse that guides my leadership in this regard; “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” (Proverbs 4:23).
The people you lead deserve the best “you” you can offer to them.
And giving them your best begins by giving yourself a well-nourished inner world.