The Leaders Notebook

Hard questions, ambiguity and opinion for leaders

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PonderThis: Leaders Need for Rest and Renewal

March 27th, 2009 · No Comments · Organizations at Their Best, PonderThis, Uncategorized

It is Friday and I am supposed to post a PonderThis for the weekend.  But I am also exhausted from a 53 hour period of not sleeping while I worked a full day and then returned from Bangkok, complete with a stopover to see an old friend in Seoul.  I was about to punt, knowing that no one’s life would be incomplete without a PonderThis post for the weekend.

Instead, I am offering a concept related to my own exhaustion.  The concept is simple.  We are all human and therefore subject to limitation.  We can push our limits, expand our capacity and train ourselves to be more effective at managing energy- but we are not either super-heroes or invulnerable.  And at times, a leader simply has to tell the truth to themselves about their own exhaustion.  For a wonderful example, listen to this wonderful description of weariness by David Whyte as he describes his state of being just before speaking to a banking meeting in South Africa.

In Thailand, it is not unusual to hear even the most senior executives talk about going on retreat.  The buildings I was in, except for hotels, turn off the air conditioning at 6PM weekdays and over the weekend (a serious consideration so near to the equator).  Most global cultures are better about making it possible to take rest and refresh both body and soul.  For those in the US and a few other cultures- it becomes the working culture is modeled after that of the leadership culture.

So- I am going to rest and leave you with this question:  How would your performance, and that of your organization, benefit from being more rested, more mentally alert and less stressed?

PonderThis is published to arrive in your RSS/ mailbox on Fridays as an concept to ponder over the weekend and goes to thousands of requesters on 4 continents.

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