40 Leadership Lessons from the Freedom Trail – #12

On the 31st August 2013, Lesley, my wife, and soul-mate retired after 35 years teaching in secondary schools. Two days later, as planned, we set off for a magical celebratory holiday, taking in New York, California and Oregon. Our trip became known as the ‘Freedom Trail’.

While on the Freedom Trail, I journaled every day and ended each entry with a leadership moment/lesson. Here’s another!

Person doing yoga#12 – Leaders need to take care of themselves

Today, Friday 13th September 2013, we returned to New York from Halifax, Nova Scotia. We sailed all day and enjoyed a relaxing day.

In keeping with the previous four days, I went to the gym and did some core exercises, some stretching, thirty minutes on the cross trainer and some cool down stretching. After a shower and change, I felt great. I had just completed five days straight with my exercise regime, not counting all the walking we’d done while ashore in various places. I was very happy with that.

My happiness helped me to reflect on the need to stay fit and healthy. The reason for this is simple. To take care of your team, you need to take care of yourself. If your stamina, mental acuity, and resilience are low, chances are your decision-making will be suspect and your care for your team members less effective.

So, the leadership lesson today is taking care of you!

That means developing a daily routine and trying to stick with it.  I follow a regular plan. I meditate, exercise and read while having my breakfast. I couple this with a regular evening plan. Each night, I work out my priority tasks for the next day and write them down. I have noticed a significant improvement in my productivity in recent months since adopting this approach.

I recommend it to you though most of all I recommend that you maintain a balance between caring for yourself and caring for your team.

If you have any other approaches that work for you, I’d be delighted to hear from you.

Leaders need to care for themselves, as well as for others. Fit in body and mind creates a stable platform on which to build.

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