“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are and to lead others.” adapted from e. e. cummings
This February has felt like the longest month, how was yours? With the Lunar New Year, more matters from the heart and birthdays, the record snowstorm and the SuperMoon, things got a little deep and there’s so much more ahead, I’m sure! I wanted to conclude this month on Courage and Leadership. What does sleep have to with that, you ask?
I feel absolutely aligned that the word, courage coming from the Latin and French meaning, ‘heart’ but also as a metaphor for ‘inner strength’. It’s this inner strength, this integrity of character that requires harmony with our mind, our heart, our body and our spirit. The integrity of a true leader. I truly believe, sleep brings this together to cultivate a calm mind and is often the most undervalued aspect of our health.
“Calm mind brings inner strength and self-confidence, so that’s very important for good health.” Dalai Lama
When you think of leadership, you might think about the workplace. What else comes to mind? Do you think about what YOU are aspiring to lead, to make a difference with what you do for others or are you struggling to find balance and harmony in your own life? What does Leadership mean to you? There are so many definitions, but many misunderstand what it really requires.
Selfcare, empathy and ‘soft skills’ are not always valued as leadership skills. This is where sleep comes in, my favourite ‘secret’ to selfcare. Sleep has the capacity to enhance the effectiveness of each leader and how these leaders can successfully influence others at a deeper level.
“Successful leadership is leading with the heart, not just the head. They possess qualities like empathy, compassion and courage.” Bill George
There are some unique perspectives created from the business concept of, ‘productivity’. Even neuroscience is part of the conversation. After all, most believe that our brains have a lot to do with our capacity to learn, to be a good leader, perhaps be more productive, smarter, faster, you get the picture. Lack of sleep, stress, lack of enough exercise and poor nutrition all contribute to a reduced level of cognitive function, poor decision making and ability to process emotions and even realize that you even have a problem!
Leadership, wellbeing and sleep are written and talked about more often recently in the same breath from McKinsey & Company’s report on The Organizational Cost of Insufficient Sleep to Harvard Business Review’s article on Sleep Well, Lead Well to Fortune’s article on a Rand Corporation research study that states that $411 billion USD is lost each year on lost productivity. That was published in 2016!
One of my fav words that came out of the past few years was presenteeism. It reminds me of an expression (in local ‘Hawaiian’ pidgin): ‘the light stays on but nobody home, bruddah’. You’re at work but you’re only functioning at 60%!
“Life is short, take good care of yourself first, then lead and change the world.” Mag Secretario
All of the above is saying is take care of yourself first before can take care of others, before you can be a good leader, manager, employee, entrepreneur, mother, father or even a health coach. Unfortunately, not many companies are enlightened with corporate wellness or workplace wellbeing programs that go beyond the tick box exercise!
Here’s what you can do NOW that can open more possibilities and your own potential.
Use your head!
Your brain depends on quality sleep. Most people need 7-9 hrs of sleep each night, work that out for yourself and create 30-60 minute rituals that prepare you for a ‘soft landing and soft takeoff’. This will reset your brain, help you feel calmer and refreshed. Neuroscience has proven that it can increase your memory, increase your ability to learn and retain more and sharpen your focus. Be open-minded and you can learn how to ‘rewire’ brain patterns by learning new habits!
Asking for help is misunderstood and not the sign of strength it actually is. Coaching & mentoring is the support system that provides a safe environment, without judgement yet challenges you by asking powerful questions that give you fresh perspectives and solutions, a unique advantage. You don’t know what you don’t know especially if you don’t ask!
Take 100% responsibility for your own wellbeing physically, mentally, emotionally and financially. Being well with the emphasis on BEING not just doing! Being well must be learned and practiced every day so you can serve others at the highest level. Join me on the journey to lead this revolution! Download our latest free guide to get you started: The Powe of SHE Sleep. Health. Energy. and get on our newsletter to keep posted on a special launch in May.
Who are you becoming as a leader, as a person? I’m open to talking!