Leadership Coaching: Always “On”. There are rising concerns regarding our flexible working culture leading to the ‘always on’. This brings the expectation that employees should always be available… this behaviour in turn leading to burnout. If you are a leader then this will not be unfamiliar to you. If you are a good leader you will have a keen eye on the project, the team, and their needs. If you are such a leader, when do you say ‘I’m not free right now’.
Our expectations of ourselves also leak into to our expectations of those who work for us… many a visionary founder has fallen through this coaches doors, crestfallen in the realisation that whilst the team is good, they are mainly in it for the remuneration. It is a burned-out founder that expects their teams to do ‘anything and everything’ to make their vision work. No team member needs that kind of parallel process. This level of expectation is both unrealistic and unsustainable at any level of a project.
So, an excellent leader has a fine line to walk. An excellent leader needs to keep all things in balance: How will the team know you care if sometimes you say “No”? Conversely, how will you stay standing if you always say “Yes”? How can you engage those who work for you, with the vision you hold, so that you don’t hold it alone?
Fundamentally an excellent leader is a role model. I often think that one of the best ways of gaining perspective in order to regain balance is to ask this question. “ if I didn’t show up for work today, would anybody die?”. If the answer to that question is “yes” then you have some work to put in.
Even if your sector is healthcare, no one person should be indispensable. ‘Needing to be needed’ and having your whole identity tied up with your role or organisation is risky. It is time to learn to delegate, and that in turn takes trust. Time to learn to take a step back and let others find their own ways. Mistakes will be made and lessons will be learned. The infant of a helicopter-parent has no need to learn anything. It is exactly the same for your team. It is your job to empower them to be autonomous. Give them bits to do for themselves. Let them try, fail, learn and grow. Every single team member has a part to play: Excellent Leaders let them!
Role model by putting yourself first.
Try it – I dare you!