Leadership Blog – Z is for Zest

As I come to the end of this blog series, one thing that I feel is important to end with is that the best leaders have a zest for life.  It is not just with business, but in all facets of their lives – family, volunteering, friends, hobbies, exercise, spiritual, etc.  They appreciate all they have and show that gratitude in numerous ways.  They also serve as role models for their employees as well as others including those living in their communities.

Unfortunately, we do not necessarily see these types of leaders portrayed much in the media.  Instead ruthless and/or incompetent leaders are the ones that “get the spotlight” as well as others that earn large compensations and/or attend high-end events.  The leaders who truly value their employees and sometimes make personal sacrifices for the sake of the organization are never the ones that are highlighted.

Leaders are under a tremendous amount of pressure which can cause stress related ailments.  A well-balanced leader understands that self-care including “taking time outs” is very necessary.  By detaching from the challenges of work periodically, they are able to recharge, which will hopefully enable them to bring a fresh perspective to the issues that they are facing when they get back.  It is also important for everyone in the company to be able to have “true” time off.  Luckily more companies are realizing this, however, burn-out is still on the rise.  Just like a car that runs too long, it eventually runs out of gas and parts wear out; our bodies are the same way.

When was the last time you encouraged members of your team to really take a “time out”?  When did you give permission to yourself to do the same?  If you are struggling with this, spend five minutes brainstorming by yourself all the things that you would like to do but keep making excuses about.  Maybe it is learning a new hobby or going on an excursion like a bike trip through the wine country in California.  Whatever it is make it happen.  Time does not stand still and before you know it your zest for life is gone and instead you realize you are on that hamster wheel going round and round and getting nowhere.

Other “Z” word to ponder – zeal.