This is a guest post from Seth Kahan best selling author of Getting Change Right and Getting Innovation Right.
Leaders require a customized approach to self-care. Their capacity and ability has immediate and profound consequences for the quality of leadership they provide. If you are a leader, your job is unique. In contrast to those carrying out predefined work, you put your efforts into shifting the status quo, arousing and inspiring peers, igniting collective intelligence, and facilitating a coordinated response from disparate parties, all the while staying in touch with changing circumstances and shifting tactics to maintain strategy and achieve results. This high wire act requires a very effective form of self-care.
Strong leaders sustain their vision and energy by improving their health, having fun, pouring their energy into worthy causes, creating special interactions with their families, having deep relationships with their partners, pursuing spiritual development, and cultivating their energy so they can give their best. This is in fact what makes it possible for them to get change right, challenge after challenge, rising more than they are pushed down, and prevailing to see results achieved.
It’s a tall order for anyone. Those who are at the growing edge of change know that it requires significant strength and even greater mental clarity. They dedicate themselves to achieve inner and outer energy and power so they can rise to meet the demands of their work.
I call this high-spirited, high-performance state WorkLifeSuccess. Success in work is integrally connected to success in all aspects of life. They are, in fact, indivisible. Enthusiastic, clear-minded, high-functioning people deliver inspired leadership. Achieving this state of pervasive flourishing makes it possible for you to take on major challenges.
Here are thirteen ways of looking at the world, viewpoints if you will, that effective leaders practice to shape their behavior and responses to the many unpredictable situations they face as a result of being a leader:
1. I care for myself in all situations, optimizing every set of circumstances to achieve the best possible environment for my health and well-being. I actively cultivate my physical, mental, and spiritual development.
2. I care for others, seeking the well-being of all I can assist. I see myself as part of a larger community.
3. Nature is the foreground in which life is played out. It is not a backdrop I learn by studying the patterns of nature and working in accord with them.
4. I see my work as an extension of my life, fully integrated with my well-being. I recognize that my joie de vivre is a priority that increases my capacity and effectiveness.
5. I keep things in perspective. I don’t get bent out of shape by small things. I know what is negotiable and what is not. Almost everything is negotiable.
6. I recognize the power of my closest relationships, investing what is required to develop and keep them in balance, especially those of my inner circle.
7. I participate in the joys and sorrows that are a natural part of life, giving myself fully to my experience in all dimensions.
8. I harvest learning from every experience and carry it with me, applying it wherever it can have positive impact.
9. I work for those things I believe in, dedicating my life’s energy to goals that sustain my spirit and call out my personal best.
10. I know that solutions to challenging issues are often not obvious and can be effectively solved by wading into the complexities of the situation, then emerging with resolutions that provide the best of all available options.
11. I see the challenges of my world as a personal opportunity to shape the future for the better. I am a force of nature.
12. I recognize that my understanding of the world is made of mental models and do not confuse them with the world. I am always learning and adjusting my mental models to grow with the experience, knowledge, and wisdom I gather.
13. I look at both the parts and the whole, recognizing that each fragment has its own integrity while at the same time everything is fundamentally connected and together forms a larger, unbroken body.
These thirteen viewpoints create a powerful synergy, working together to grow a human being’s leadership capacity in all realms of his or her life.
Be the difference you want to see in the world.