LEADERSHIP RESOURCES BLOG

Guidance on leadership development & strategic planning.

How to Lead Despite COVID Burnout

By Leadership Resources 03/19/2021
Woman wearing a mask burnt out from COVID-19.

One year ago, when COVID-19 was just starting to acquire its pandemic status, few people could have anticipated what the following months would have in store. The early toilet paper shortages and panic buying seem somewhat quaint compared to the havoc wrought on individuals, families, and businesses between then and now. With effective vaccines and rapid distribution on the way, there is now a light at the end of this tunnel. That said, even when the pandemic ends, the world will have to deal with its consequences for many years to come. 

Business leaders are already looking ahead to what the future may hold while battling the burnout that has plagued everyone, from students, workers, leaders, and owners alike. As we’ve discussed before, the stress of leadership can be daunting enough to deal with during normal times, and the COVID-19 pandemic has only exacerbated this pressure. Businesses everywhere have had to lay off or furlough employees, suddenly switch to remote work protocols, reduce hours and customer capacity, adjust their supply chain, implement intensive cleaning and disinfection protocols, and so on. One year in, people everywhere are on their last legs, and leaders are no exception.

How to Lead Your People if They’re Burnt Out from COVID-19

Prioritize Self-Care and Stress Management

When challenging times arise and work piles up, it’s easy to fall into the trap of pushing yourself past your limits to keep up with deadlines. You might be able to go on this way for a little while, but eventually, your work will suffer — more importantly, so will your mental and physical health. This common situation describes burnout, and it can take a long time to reignite the flame. It’s better to prevent that proverbial flame from burning out in the first place by maintaining its heat and oxygen through self-care. In our previous blog on managing leadership stress, we discussed key ways to take care of your overall well-being, such as getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, practicing mindfulness (i.e. meditation, yoga), staying hydrated, maintaining a healthy diet, and taking breaks for enjoyment and relaxation when needed. Encouraging your employees to do the same by sharing your experience with these stress-relieving techniques is key for preventing (or at least mitigating) COVID burnout in your workplace. When everyone feels motivated to take care of themselves first and foremost, they will be better equipped to handle the challenges before them.

Keep on Communicating

We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: communication is one of the most important leadership qualities there is. And during COVID-19, strong communication has never been so crucial. At the most basic level, your people should be regularly informed about how the business is navigating COVID-related challenges. Any updates and changes must be clearly delivered, and everyone should feel free to ask questions and voice their concerns. Considering the nature of this pandemic, you may need to convey these messages via virtual meetings, emails, and other means. To keep burnout at bay, your communication style should be steeped in empathy — if you’re feeling burnt out, odds are your peers, partners, and employees are, too. Use your emotional intelligence to understand the shared and unique challenges faced by others to enhance your organization’s sense of community. Hosting virtual and community events will help you maintain and improve your company culture so everyone feels connected and valued.

Simplify Your Processes

If anything good has come from COVID-19, it’s that this pandemic has revealed what matters most, both in terms of everyday life and in business. While the initial shock of COVID sent many businesses into a frenzy, many that have been able to recover have gradually adjusted their priorities and trimmed the fat in key areas. Simplifying your processes by streamlining tasks, delegation, and your broader vision can reduce the risk of burnout and ultimately reshape your business in positive ways. You might, for instance, realize that remote work is a powerful tool for team management and that it greatly reduces overhead costs associated with rent, energy, commuting, etc. Every business and employee is different, of course — while some might appreciate the freedom of working from home, others might require more structure and crave in-person encounters. How you decide to adjust and simplify your processes during this latter portion of COVID-19 and afterward will depend on what you learn during this time. The key is paying attention to what your people are feeling and how it’s affecting your bottom line.

Keep the Big Picture in View

As we stated earlier, the implications of COVID-19 will carry on far beyond its official conclusion, contributing to leadership stress and potential burnout. As such, you must view this situation as a marathon rather than a sprint. The day-to-day doings of your business matter, but thinking too small and short-term can cloud your judgment and impede your view of the future. Of course, looking too far ahead can induce plenty of stress in its own right. To avoid burning out in either sense, you want to achieve a balance between short- and long-term thinking, where the way you handle things each and every day is informed by where and how you wish to steer your team and enterprise. In order to accomplish this, you must focus on becoming more adaptable and resilient, regularly taking stock of what is and isn’t working so you can fine-tune your business for the future.

Providing strong leadership in times of stress and change is no small feat, but it’s essential for alleviating burnout in yourself and your team. Taking care of your own well-being, maintaining emotionally-intelligent communication, simplifying your operations based on necessary changes, and implementing long-term thinking will allow you to lead your organization to a brighter future despite these challenging times.


At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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Habits of a Successful Leader

By Leadership Resources 03/10/2021
Group of leaders smiling

No two leaders are exactly alike, but the most successful leaders often have plenty in common. Personal preferences, opinions, and life experiences aside, there are certain leadership qualities that ring true across the board — honesty, responsiveness, passion, integrity, etc. While these traits may be somewhat inherent in certain leaders, the best leaders become successful by honing these skills through hard work and habit formation. Let’s outline some essential habits that allow leaders to acquire and maintain success in their workplace and in life.

What Habits Make a Successful Leader?

Cultivating a Thirst for Knowledge

One of the most important qualities of an effective leader is the willingness and ability to continuously learn. Reading books across genres and fields of expertise, listening to people with diverse backgrounds and experiences, asking questions of peers, employees, friends, and strangers — all of these activities allow leaders to expand their horizons. Even if a piece of information might not seem immediately relevant to a leader’s life or career, the culmination of various bits of knowledge can be synthesized over time in new and unique ways. There is no downside, only upside, to receiving an ongoing education, and successful leaders know there’s always more to discover.

Maintaining a Balance of Confidence and Humility

There are always areas of growth for leaders, and the only way to identify and improve those areas is to put your ego aside and then pick it back up to act on those necessary changes. Leadership comes with power and privileges, and this prestige can cloud the mind of individuals who lack humility. Conversely, leaders who lack confidence can struggle to get things done, create buy-in, and keep their people on track. As such, the most successful leaders strike a balance between confidence and humility, listening closely to their peers and team members while not backing down from bold ideas. Practicing gratitude each and every day is another great way for leaders to stay humble and positive.

Focusing on Physical as well as Mental Health

The aforementioned power and privilege inherent in leadership also comes with its fair share of stress, which manifests both in the mind and body. Leaders who fail to take care of their mental and physical health can burn out, lash out, and/or simply become less effective overall. Leadership success largely depends on maintaining a healthy lifestyle both in and out of work. The best leaders focus on managing leadership stress by exercising regularly, getting enough sleep, eating healthy, taking breaks, practicing mindfulness (i.e. meditation, yoga), and more. Taking the time for self-care allows leaders to operate with a clear mind and high-functioning body — crucial for getting things done and getting them done right.

Staying Organized

Effective leaders are also well-organized where it counts. While a messy desk might be a proverbial sign of genius, it’s not exactly ideal for strategic planning, scheduling, goal-tracking, and so on. Keeping documents and items in their proper places, taking regular notes, journaling, and maintaining a detailed calendar helps keep things straight so leaders can spend less time and energy shuffling papers around and more on other matters like idea generation, performance management, employee check-ins, executive meetings, etc.

Consistently Pushing Themselves and Others

Organizations can only grow if leaders and their teams are constantly coming up with new ideas and taking calculated risks. Indeed, this willingness to push the envelope is one of the key qualities of a good leader, and honing it depends on leaders pushing themselves out of their comfort zones in every area of their lives, not just at work. Successful leaders are always challenging themselves, whether it’s running an extra quarter-mile than initially planned, trying new cuisine, attending an unlikely event or concert, and so on. Living life “on the edge” in this way conditions leaders to be bolder in the workplace and mitigate the fear of the unknown so their organization and people can grow in unexpected ways.

Successful leaders are creatures of habit — not just any habits, but habits that help them gain new knowledge, become more self-aware, improve their mental and physical well-being, stay organized, and try new things. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is to make the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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How to Get the Most Out of the Leaders in Your Office

By Leadership Resources 12/17/2020
Businesswoman walking upstairs

Your leadership team is largely responsible for allowing your business to continually meet quotas, increase profits, and grow sustainably. As such, motivating your leaders to do their best work and maintain that momentum must be one of your top priorities. Of course, all leaders are human beings, and human beings have their limitations. Pushing your people too hard can create massive leadership stress and get in the way of progress. Conversely, loosening your grip too much can result in chaos and stifle productivity. In order to ensure ongoing success, then, you must strike a balance between putting on the pressure when the time is right and letting go when things get too tense.

How to Get the Most Out of the Leaders in Your Office

Support Their Personal and Professional Goals

Even if your leaders inherently love what they do, their job is ultimately just a portion of their lives. Most people are more motivated by the notion of building a better life for themselves and their families than growing the company for which they work. Fortunately, these goals go hand in hand. As your business flourishes, so do the personal lives of your leaders, as long as you maintain an awareness of what your people want out of life and their careers. If you want to get the most out of your leaders, then, take the time to understand what gets them out of bed in the morning and connect those aspirations to the business’ growth. You can further support your leaders by offering ongoing leadership training, providing career resources, and more.

Prioritize Performance Management

No matter how self-aware someone is, no one recognizes all of their shortcomings without some external input. Your leaders won’t be able to progress as quickly or efficiently if they’re not receiving honest feedback on a regular basis. Make it a priority to track your leaders’ performance and go over their strengths and weaknesses at key intervals or on an as-needed basis. Your constructive criticism should also include recognition of all of a leader’s accomplishments — this way, your leaders can continue doing what they do best and work on what they might have missed for the betterment of themselves and your business as a whole. 

Make sure you allow time for your leaders to ask questions and deliver their own feedback as well. Sending out employee surveys is another powerful way to see how your people feel about the workplace and culture.

Leave Room for New Opportunities

One of the primary reasons people part with a company is because they feel stuck, as if they’ve reached a peak and there’s nowhere to go from there. In order to draw out the very best from your leaders (and keep them around), you have to offer ongoing opportunities for growth. You might develop a transparent system for lateral movement, promotions, and raises for leaders to work towards, and/or create new roles for managers with specific leadership skills. It’s important to maintain strong communication with your leaders to see how happy or unhappy they are in their current position so you can come up with ways to best utilize their unique talents, skills, and experiences.

Provide Practical Paid Time Off (PTO)

Everyone needs a break, especially your hardest-working talent. Working around the clock for months on end will inevitably lead to burnout, which can take weeks to recover from and do plenty of damage in the meantime. While paid vacations and extended break periods might seem like a major liability, they’re necessary investments for managing leadership stress and getting the most out of your leaders in the long run. For a deep dive into this subject, read our article, “How Much Paid Time Off (PTO) is Good for Productivity?” At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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Effective Stress Management Techniques for Leaders

By Leadership Resources 12/05/2020
Woman doing breathing exercise at laptop

Taking on a leadership role is a major honor and responsibility. Much is expected of leaders, and many leaders have a habit of carrying the weight of the world on their shoulders to prove something to themselves, their colleagues, their team, or all of the above. However, being a strong leader isn’t about bearing all of your business’ burdens — rather, it’s about lifting up your organization through strategic decision-making, delegation, oversight, and flexibility. When things get too stressful (and this year has certainly been one for the books), your ability to effectively lead can get hampered, especially if you don’t have the resources and habits for handling this stress. In this way, strong leadership and stress management are two sides of the same coin.

With that in mind, let’s outline some effective stress management techniques for leaders of all stripes.

How to Reduce Stress

Prioritize Your Physical and Mental Well-Being

All of your decisions and behaviors stem from your physical and mental state. This means that being a productive leader begins with taking care of your body and mind. The following lifestyle adjustments help both prevent and relieve leadership stress:

  • Get enough sleep (7-9 hours)
  • Maintain a healthy diet (limit caffeine, alcohol, and sugar)
  • Stay hydrated
  • Exercise regularly (3-5 days a week)
  • Practice mindfulness (meditation, yoga)
  • Read for enjoyment and education
  • Enjoy hobbies and/or mindless activities

Anything that promotes your physical and mental well-being will make you more alert, improve your mood, boost your decision-making capacity, and minimize distractions when it counts.

Get Organized

We’re often told that a messy desk is a sign of genius. While there may be some truth to this statement, a chaotic work space is also a major source of stress. If you can’t easily find folders, documents, utensils, etc., you’ll end up wasting time, causing you to fall behind and undergo even more stress. One of the simplest methods for managing leadership stress, then, is organizing your stuff, which includes not only your physical space but also your schedule. Make lists, label and alphabetize folders and files, streamline your calendar, etc.

Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate

As leaders, we often feel like we have to do everything. Not only is this an arrogant frame of mind, though, it’s also detrimental to your mental state and your organization. Simply put, some tasks can and should be handled by other people so you can focus on other things. The key to proper delegation is finding the right people to take on certain tasks. By establishing a strong rapport with your team, you can determine their individual strengths, which will allow you to trust the person (or people) you charge with a given task. You can always assess their performance after the fact and determine whether changes need to be made. Delegating tasks to your team members also grants them the opportunity to learn new skills and grow into leaders themselves.

Remember: Perfection isn’t the Goal

One of main causes of leadership stress is the nagging pull of perfectionism. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to get things done right, but focusing too much on perfection can paralyze your decision-making, slow down your operations, and result in worse outcomes in the long run. You can reduce a lot of stress and work more efficiently by instead focusing on getting things done and smoothing out any rough edges afterward.

Wield the Power of “No”

To be a leader is to have a target on your back (for good or bad). People will constantly reach out to you, ask you questions, seek advice, cast blame on you when something goes wrong, and so on. While it’s important to maintain strong communication with everyone in your circle, it’s also okay to back away and take some time to yourself. You don’t need to attend every single meeting, hop on every phone call, handle every sudden task that crops up, work weekend, etc. Sometimes you just need to say “no” for your own good and, ultimately, the good of your organization. It’s better to deal with one task at a time than to stretch yourself way too thin.

Continue Developing Your Leadership Skills

No matter how long you’ve had your position or been with a company, leadership development never ends — at least, it shouldn’t. There are always new things to learn, new skills to acquire, and new techniques to try out. By continuing to hone your abilities, you’ll get better and better at de-stressing your life and the lives of your employees. Think of it as having more tools in your toolkit to tackle tough problems when they arise. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow at times like these when you need it most.

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How to Keep Top Talent from Leaving Your Lincoln, NE Company

By Leadership Resources 01/06/2020
Group of people with their hands in

You work hard to find the best people for your business. All the time and resources spent screening, interviewing, following up, and making the final decision are worth it in the end when you finally land top talent. 

However, hiring a well-suited individual is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, you’ve added value to your company. On the other hand, there’s no guarantee that this person will stick with you for the long haul. In other words, hiring top talent is only half the battle. Retaining this talent is perhaps even more important, and, in many ways, more challenging.

Opportunities are abundant in Lincoln, Nebraska and other major cities around the country (and the world). In this increasingly global and mobile economy, holding on to your best employees is more important than ever. Here’s how you can keep top talent from leaving your company in Lincoln, NE.

How to Retain Great Talent

It Starts With Recruitment

Companies that boast the highest retention rates attribute much of their success to their hiring process. Indeed, keeping employee retention in mind during recruitment efforts will help you narrow your search by honing in on aspects of your business that matter most. For instance, you should seek candidates that are well-suited not only for the position at hand, but also your workplace culture. You might pose certain questions to potential hires that will give you a sense of their values, loyalty, commitment, etc. Additionally, look for people who have histories of longevity with their past jobs.

Fortify Your Company Culture

Maintaining a well-defined company culture will help you choose candidates that will stay with you. That said, this culture must also be flexible and inclusive enough to continuously engage your people and give them a stake in your business. Simply put, if you want to keep your top talent around, let them at least in part shape the culture in meaningful, constructive ways. You must also keep up with the latest technologies and industry developments. If your business can’t evolve with your best people, they will grow beyond it.

Focus on Leadership Development

On that note of personal growth, one of the best ways to keep top talent from leaving your company is by investing in their continual development. Developing leadership talent within your organization doesn’t just convey your commitment to your people, but also adds tangible value to your business. As your employees expand their skill sets, they become integral parts of decision-making processes that improve your organization. In this way, fostering leadership development increases loyalty and buy-in. Additionally, developing your top talent is a key element in succession planning. The future and legacy of your business depend on retaining strong leaders.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

Allow for Some Beneficial Breathing Room

You seek top talent for your business because you want to increase productivity and innovation. Keep in mind, though, that your best people are still susceptible to burnout. Pushing your people too hard is a losing strategy for keeping them around. 

If you want your employees to continue adding value to your company, you need to offer them some value as well. You can consider things like offering more flexible hours and remote work privileges. Also, reconfigure your benefits packages to remain competitive and entice top talent for your company. And don’t skimp on your paid time off allowances. Getting away from work is paramount in managing leadership stress and maximizing productivity and retention in the long haul.

Offer Regular Feedback

Communication is crucial to keeping your top talent. Employees deserve praise when performing well, and they need to know when they’re falling behind. Without regular performance management feedback and constructive criticism, your people will remain clueless regarding their performance, potential, and value. This can lead to feelings of frustration and underappreciation, which can result in abandonment. 

To avoid these outcomes, remain open and honest with your team members. Conduct frequent one-on-one meetings and don’t rush quarterly or annual reviews. And be open to feedback as well. Your top talent can clue you in to your own shortcomings to help you improve, too.

Onboarding the very best people is challenging enough. Don’t let them slip away. Your employees are your most valuable assets, and you must invest in them accordingly if you wish to continue reaping the benefits.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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6 Reasons A Strategic Planning Consultant Is a Great Investment in Your Business

By Leadership Resources 12/04/2019
Leadership Resources strategic planning workshop

In any endeavor, an outside perspective goes a long way in helping us stay on course, acknowledge our bad habits and flaws, and charge ahead with purpose. A business that lacks external guidance can quickly find itself in a rut. Having access to a strategic planning consultant can help businesses overcome their shortcomings to achieve both short-term and long-term goals.

At Leadership Resources, we deploy strategic planning consultants to help our clients reach and exceed their goals. Let’s go over six reasons why a strategic planning consultant is a great investment in your business.

The Beneifts of Strategic Planning Consultants

1. Clarify Your Vision 

Moving forward is challenging when you’re unsure of which direction to go or why you’re going that way to begin with. When businesses cannot clearly create or convey a cohesive vision, it will struggle to make any progress. 

Strategic planning consultants help business leaders formulate or redefine a clear vision and then work toward getting every member of the organization on the same page. Once consensus has been reached, your team can work on strategic planning, where you’ll lay out short-term and long-term goals, as well as procedures for reaching said goals.

2. Increase Employee Engagement

The people within your organization ultimately determine whether it succeeds or fails. And if your people aren’t committed, focused, or enthusiastic about their jobs or the business’s greater goals, your business will suffer. With the aid of a strategic planning consultant, your leadership staff will learn new team management methods that help unify team members around common interests and increase employee engagement as a whole.

3. Develop Leaders

A strong business relies on strong leadership. When you invest in leadership development, you’re investing in your company’s future. A strategic planning consultant provides your leadership team with guidance and access to the resources, support, and knowledge to continually develop as individuals and add value to the organization by becoming more adaptable, approachable, resilient, and team-oriented.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

4. Cultivate a Healthier Workplace

You want your business to produce results and reach its goals, but not at the cost of your people’s mental and physical health. One of the greatest advantages a strategic planning consultant brings to the table is that it helps staff members and leaders strike a balance between work and the rest of life. Managing leadership stress is essential for leaders to execute their plans with clear judgment and sound instincts. A healthier workplace means that your team will be more functional and cohesive, ready to tackle any problem together.

5. Enhance Communication

Transparency is also necessary for maintaining a healthy company culture. Investing in a strategic planning consultant will provide your business with tools and advice for establishing greater communication between all parties. An open line of communication helps keep everyone engaged and on the same page. It also empowers team members to ask questions and speak their minds without fear of reprisal. Ultimately, greater communication leads to bold new ideas that can push an organization forward, improve its operations, and establish more ways to reach its goals.

6. Perform Regular Check-ins to Stay on Course

In order to stay the course, a business requires accountability at every level. This means all staff members and leaders must regularly meet their expectations and the procedures set in motion to achieve goals are proving themselves effective. 

Strategic planning consultants perform regular check-in sessions to evaluate what is and isn’t working in your organization so necessary changes can be made. This may include quarterly and annual check-ins, or some other frequency that makes the most sense for the client. With these routine assessments, everyone in your organization will be more accountable for their roles and actions.

Every organization can benefit from business leadership coaching, and a strategic planning consultant significantly elevates standard business mentorship by focusing on every important aspect of your organization in detail. Leadership Resources is the premier strategic planning consultant in Omaha and Lincoln, NE. Our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. Contact us here to learn more about what we do and how it can help your business succeed and grow.

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Is Stress Killing Your Productivity? The Counter-Intuitive Reality of Taking Time to Self-Manage and Pursue True Longevity

By Leadership Resources 12/24/2018
stressed

In the workplace, it often seems like nothing matters more than productivity. In theory, when workers are more productive, the business thrives, profits increase, and everyone is happy. But productivity can come at a cost. The truth is, people only have so much mental and physical energy in a given day to get things done. And it doesn’t take much to push someone over the edge into the land of stress. Stress tends to take a hit on productivity in the long run, so there is a fine line to walk between working hard and burning out. This applies to leaders and staff members alike So, how can managers help employees deal with stress? And what about managing leadership stress?

Encouraging Self Care

The workplace is meant for work, of course. But if a work environment offers no small escape or time away from work duties, the quality of work will suffer. Therefore, a workplace culture should encourage staff and leaders to take some time during the workday to socialize, refuel mentally and physically, play games, and step outside for fresh air. These little things add up and allow all team members more space to gather thoughts and gain perspective.

At first, this all might sound counterintuitive. After all, the goal is to increase productivity. How does playing a pickup foosball game or taking an extended coffee break get anything of value done? Well, these activities reduce stress and allow one’s brain to reset. People will come back to work refreshed after partaking in a small act of self-care, and their work will be better as a result. So, in the long-term, these seemingly pointless excursions can increase productivity.

11 Ways To Create Accountability And Increase Productivity At Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

Fostering an Open and Honest Environment

Stress is like pressure and often feels like it. It gets bottled up and eventually will explode if not released on a healthy, regular basis. So, leaders and staff members need a way to air their personal and work-related concerns in an open environment, free of judgment. A company’s culture and values should allow every employee to feel comfortable speaking their mind to their peers and managers when necessary. Otherwise, problems get swept under the rug and fester. These issues can devolve into resentment or worse.

There is nothing more harmful to productivity than a workforce that feels stifled by a lack of communication. Things may occur in a company or office that leave some team members angry, confused, or feeling left out. Leadership in times of stress and change such as these is more important than ever. Leaders must not only reassure all staff that their concerns are being heard, but they must actually listen and act accordingly. Otherwise, that pressurized stress will eventually boil over and the team might fall apart completely.

Long-term productivity sometimes depends on short-term sacrifices. Sometimes a staff member just needs a personal day. Others might need an hour to blow off steam and recalibrate priorities. The work will always be there. The key is to ensure that the work gets done well. A workforce that is overstressed and unable to communicate will eventually fail in this pursuit, as will leaders. Managers and employees alike must encourage each other to take care of everyone’s well-being first and foremost.

At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity. To learn more about what we do and why, contact us here.

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How Self Care Can Improve Your Performance as a Leader

By Leadership Resources 10/03/2018
leadership development omaha

Some modern media have portrayed the hardworking leader as a sleep-deprived, stubborn, borderline manic individual obsessed with the bottom line and neglectful of self care. While some people do fit this category, most do not. This stereotype can be harmful even if it’s meant to lampoon and discourage this behavior.

In reality, the best leaders make time to take care of themselves physically, mentally, and emotionally. Being able to balance the challenges of work with the importance of self care is one of the most important leadership qualities. Failing to achieve this balance is a strategic error and bleeds out into the rest of the business.

Ignoring the needs of one’s mind and body hurts one’s ability to think, focus, and help others in need. Conversely, engaging in self care boosts the mind, body, and spirit, which lifts those in proximity up as well. Here’s a deeper dive into how self care can improve your performance as a leader.

  1. Proper Sleep: Alertness and Ability to React

The science of sleep still largely remains a mystery, but researchers have found a critical link between good sleep and improved work performance. The National Sleep Foundation reports that 29% of workers regularly feel sleepy while at work. Missing out on a good night’s sleep can consistently lead to a loss of focus and increased irritability.

When work piles up and deadlines loom, people often put sleep on the back burner. This is a big mistake. The importance of proper sleep can’t be overstated, especially for leaders. Effective leadership depends on maximum alertness. By sacrificing these precious hours of slumber, leaders are less equipped to react to challenges, prioritize tasks, and help other employees deal with stress of their own. Conversely, getting proper sleep allows one’s mind to refresh, retain important information, and handle new problems as they come.

Unlock The Leadership Potential Within Your Organization. Download this whitepaper.

  1. Healthy Body, Healthy Mind

While improper sleep plagues a large chunk of the population, so does poor nutrition and exercise. So many workers and leaders are always rushing from one place or task to the next. To keep things moving, people may skip meals or grab the nearest, fastest option from the vending machine, fast food line, or microwave. While these choices may be convenient, they can do serious harm to one’s work performance.

Foods low in nutritional value can result in more trips to the bathroom, sure. But beyond this, they can also negatively impact brain function. Nutritional science is ever evolving, but most studies have shown that a diet of whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and minimal sugar contribute to improved mental health. Additionally, regular exercise doesn’t just improve metabolic function and burn calories, it also produces endorphins which increases alertness, reduces tension, and improves mood. In this way, eating well and exercising are two of the best ways of managing leadership stress.

  1. Setting an Example: Helping Others with Self Care

Self care does not equate to selfishness. Quite the opposite. By practicing self care, leaders can do more for employees. How can managers help employees deal with stress? First, they can share their own experiences of dealing with stress with employees. By giving advice on sleep patterns, diet, exercise, and other methods of stress reduction, leaders can set a great example for the workplace.

Additionally, leaders who practice self care will have more energy to help employees. With enough rest and restoration, leaders can prioritize their workload to set aside time for helping others, honing these crucial leadership skills. With a workforce committed to self care, everyone benefits – and so does productivity.

Leadership in times of stress and change truly tests one’s abilities. Self care should remain at the forefront during these times, for the sake of leaders, employees, and the business itself. At Leadership Resources, our purpose is making the impossible possible through people. We aim to do so by helping individuals develop patterns of success that will decrease stress levels and maximize productivity.    For more information, contact us here.

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