Home Small Group Leaders Articles for Small Group Leaders Leading for the Long Haul: 6 Ways to Stay Healthy

Leading for the Long Haul: 6 Ways to Stay Healthy

I want to talk to you today about staying power in leadership or … resiliency.

How do we stay healthy while leading for the long haul?

Well this is a topic we continue to need to pay attention as leaders because the pressures that we face. Whether you’re leading students as a teacher whether you’re leading groups or teams, you’re a CEO, you’re a pastor, whatever, it doesn’t matter resiliency is critical to long-term effectiveness. I recently was talking with some leaders about some research that they’re still in the midst of and still refining but it was primarily with non-profit leaders and church leaders but as we looked at it we realized it applied to not only all leaders but to all people. So I’m going to talk about six areas that were emerging from that study that they’re in the midst of that they are discovering that if you don’t pay attention to these you can really get into trouble.

The first one was just personal growth your own formation, your own development, your own sense of character formation.

Leaders need to pay attention to what’s happening in our souls, are we centered, are we clear, do we know what we believe and why, do we pay attention to those areas of weakness, are we aware of some things about us that kind of bump up against others and so that we’re cautious and were careful about how we relate how we talk which is paying attention to character. That was number one.

Number two is self-care.

The idea that we don’t eat well, we don’t sleep enough, we don’t exercise enough, we don’t control sort of our boundaries in our margin in our life and that the self-care issue is one of the main ones that seems to emerge for leaders and people in particular. Busy, crazy lifestyles keep us from the appropriate care. I’m doing this from home cuz I’m taking actually about four or five days off right now. I’m getting ready to I’m getting ready in couple hours to hop onto a plane for some vacation time with my family. So I’m looking forward to a little self-care time it’s essential as a person and as a leader.

The third is emotional intelligence.

I know it’s a phrase kicked around a lot. Maybe Intelligent intelligence isn’t the best word sometimes but it’s paying attention to relationships and emotional health, how we deal with anger, how we deal with fear, how we deal with loss in our life, broken relationships that affect us, are paying attention to those things. And are we paying attention on how we relate to people on our team and in the marketplace or the church or wherever we work? Are we emotionally savvy are we relationally savvy with others?

The fourth one was cultural intelligence.

Knowing what’s going on around us, knowing the issues that are shaping our world, knowing the issues that are shaping the context in which we work? What’s the culture of like, what are the ethical and moral issues, where are the trends, what  are the things we need to be paying attention to as we understand that were engaging culture at all times. We’re either trying to sell something to the culture, trying to learn something from the culture and sometimes we operate in a vacuum and can’t do that.

The fifth one was marriage and family, paying attention to those close dear relationships in our lives.

Neglected marriage and family a main, main killer of leaders and people in general and will wear you down if that’s not healthy and keep you from being a resilient leader.

And number six was just leadership and management skills.

Particularly those in the non-profit area sometimes lead with passion but not with leadership savvy and skills. So we need to be managers of our teams and our organizations, know how to do that well and have the skills necessary to do it and we need to be able to lead effectively not just believe in what we’re doing that have good leadership skills.

So look at those six areas and see … Where is that I need some growth? What do I need to pay attention to? Jot ’em down on a list and look at them frequently because they will help you stay in the game for the long haul.