We have a limited amount of energy available as leaders. We may either make good use of that energy or squander it. And we never receive it back, that much is certain. We are given 24 hours each day to package our physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional potential. We distribute that potential using the human energy we were given by God. Our bodies need to be replenished every day at the end of the day.
As a leader, you have certain duties that sap and deplete your energy greater than others. Things include working on the intricate details of your business budget or having a contentious debate that is thought-provoking. However, you must still carry them out. As leaders, there are additional activities we engage in that drain and zap our energy; these activities are unnecessary, and we need to quit them. These things include:
1. Showing up unready. We all experienced having a busy schedule, a long list of things that need to be done, and a never-ending to-do list. Coming unprepared is alluring and somewhat "justifiable," but it's never a smart idea. The worry that results from not being prepared saps far more energy than is necessary to prepare for anything, even the next lecture you'll deliver and a meeting you'll run. You never feel good about it afterward, of course.
2. Stop aiming for excellence without establishing the criteria for success. Stop presuming that your company's values are sufficient. Learn to collaborate with others and establish the guidelines for success. These are the basic rules that set the tone for the workplace and outline proper conduct amid testy circumstances. The "rules for success" that your team has established serve as a solid basis for excellent performance.
3. Expecting people who are following you to be aware of your thoughts. In a bizarre sense, we assume everybody around us to be aware of our thoughts. That type of incorrect assumption drains energy since it takes up so much time and often has the opposite effect. Over time, if uncontrolled, it may even lead to war. Speak up, be direct, and let people you deal with know what's on your mind.
4. Doubting yourself. This consumes a lot of energy at the same time. Comparisons, previous failures, and the falsehoods we believe are a few sources of self-doubt. This undermines one's confidence. We must take risks, and we all mess up. That is a characteristic of leadership. And every leader has at least some level of insecurity.
5. Putting results above relationships. You are supposed to lead by example and cultivate connections at the same time. If you let outcomes take priority over relationships, this is never simple and it almost always puts pressure on others. In the short term, putting emphasis on outcomes above relationships may seem practical and even stress-relieving, but it ends up being expensive. The cost in terms of relationships is really exhausting. The fruit of your work will be larger and remain longer if you provide true attention to relationship building and nurturing over time, even while you relentlessly pursue outcomes.
Remove the routines and habits that inhibit innovation and creativity, and fill your days with activities that involve, educate, and inspire others around you. Being a leader is not easy and perhaps refraining from these things will help you become a better leader.