“To be your most productive, your most effective, and your most creative as a leader, you must allow time to renew yourself……If you define these (wellbeing) strategies as ‘slowing you down’ you are never going to do them….it’s really not slowing down, It’s making your life and your work more elegant, more effective and productive.”
– Arianna Huffington, Founder of Huffington Post and CEO of Thrive Global
The Cusp of a New Era
With an explosion of information, a rise of technology and an increasingly competitive environment; there’s a tsunami of change approaching at all levels of business, society and life.
As a result, businesses and the people working within them are pressured to adapt and evolve like never before. We need to learn to use these developments to our advantage. We must be agile and prepared to repeatedly reinvent ourselves and our businesses just to stay current. We also need to ensure our teams and leaders are equipped to succeed and able to maintain their wellbeing and to meet business objectives during these times of massive change.
While this era will bring many opportunities, it will not come without challenges. There’s the prospect of stress and overwhelm for those who are not prepared and the risk of getting left behind for those who choose to maintain the status quo. Along with needing to be able to seize the opportunities and stay competitive, we also need to exercise self-care and to stay well rested and balanced in order to avoid burn-out.
“We are swimming in a culture… based on the belief that to succeed, you have to burn out – this is scientifically false.”
Here I share some bite-sized tips for nurturing leadership and wellbeing. These have been extracted from Peter Diamandis’ blog, based on the “Exponential Leadership” module of his Abundance 360 CEO Summit. The 10 Lessons were presented by Arianna Huffington. If it works for these exponential leaders, then we can all gain some useful takeaways for our own leadership and wellbeing models. These are relevant whether we’re running our own small or large businesses.
“Ask your team proactively how to improve the environment in which they work.”
Arianna Huffington’s 10 Lessons on Exponential Leadership
1. You don’t have to burn out to be successful: You’ll perform better if you’re well-rested and balanced.
2. Allow time for renewal and recharge: This will enable you to be at your most productive, effective and creative.
3. Do Entry Interviews: Ask people what they need to feel balanced. Ask your team proactively how to improve the environment in which they work.
4. Create Elegant Success: Find Your Spot between Chaos and Order: Find the right balance between absolute order (too much bureaucracy, hierarchy and rules) and chaos (disorder). This will allow you to optimise your workflow and maximise your creative output.
5. Develop a healthier relationship with technology: Overcome the addiction and unhealthy, unsustainable relationship we have with technology by setting boundaries to improve health and productivity.
6. Get more Sleep: Prioritise sleep and plan for it in order to recharge.
7. Slow your brain down before sleep: Create a 30 minute phone-free winding down ritual before you sleep.
8. Don’t call it Slowing Down: Think of self-care as enhancing your life and making yourself more effective and productive rather than slowing down.
9. Ask for Help: If you’re feeling stressed, bogged down, burnt out or too busy – ask for help. Create a community of people who aren’t afraid to ask for help and who want to help each other.
10. Make your leadership meetings device-free and fully-present: Incentivise your team to leave their devices behind and to be fully present by aiming for half hour meetings instead of an hour. Create a policy around the notion: “If you have something more important to do, don’t come to the meeting.”
Change is coming. Be prepared for it and embrace it as a leader. Expect the best from your team and create an environment and culture which encourages optimal performance and wellbeing. Start with you and lead by example.