You, like me have 'been there and done that' and are fed up of seeing the same old same old stuff on Linkedin about goal setting and how to stay motivated. It's all so last year lol!
Once you reach 40 if you carry on doing the things that you once did, you'll burn out and you'll be no use to anyone! This is where I come in. I know what that's like to burn out and believe you me, it's not pleasant. For many years I have been researching new ways of thinking, new strategies for the 24 hour society we live in. The world in which we are are all trying to balance everything else going on in life and trying to enjoy work and life too. It's tricky. Doable but tricky.
I also believe (and you might too) that the topic of Leadership is over complicated. There is too much jargon, too many complicated models and too much talking and not enough action. AND I'm allowed to say that because I've worked in this industry long enough to know.
I also believe that leaders don't have to be big, bold and brash. Leadership teams these days need a mix of people and a range of styles to be able to lead in our modern society.
Over twenty years of working in the Leadership arena including research, interviews and practical experience working with clients I whittled down to six principles, from around 40, to come up with the 'Leadership for the Stressed out over 40's".
If you follow the six principles, over time, you will have more freedom, more time and more energy to do the things that you want. You will be a more content human being (and isn't that what we are all striving for?).You will also be generally easier to be around and happier which in turn will lead to happier teams, happier workplaces and a more profitable bottom line. Isn't that worth taking a look at?
The underlying premise of 'Leadership for the over 40's' is getting rid of clutter. By that I mean, clutter in the mind, clutter in the office, clutter at home and clutter in your life generally because it all gets in the way of you being a better leader.
Just be yourself and relax. Know who you are and what you stand for. Get to know what you REALLY like, not the things that you THINK you like. Don’t try to impress people. If they don’t like you, they don’t like you. Loosen up physically and mentally. Let things go that don’t matter. Learn to know the difference. Stretch gently regularly but not to breaking point. Get some enjoyment into the workplace. Wear clothing that allows you to breathe properly. Know when your ego is getting in the way. Most people need ego to drive them forward but let it go when it's not needed. Ditch the starch and ladies get rid of the high heels, they are destabilising you. Learn to touch your toes and hold it for five breaths. It's what you learn on the way down that matters lol
Keep moving physically and mentally. Stay energised. Get yourself, your team and the office in great shape. Being lethargic won’t help anyone. Sitting still for long periods adds to levels of stress. Slicken up your processes. Tidy up the office. Eliminate waste from EVERYWHERE. Get standing up desks. Hold walking meetings. Ban junk food from the canteen because it saps your natural energy (OK I’m pushing it now lol). Create a nice environment to work in that looks nice, sounds great and lets in fresh air. Sound are important. Be aware of them. When rock music was played to rats that turned into cannibals. Watch out for that lol
Get physically and mentally strong. Develop your resilience, increase your confidence. Strong body is a strong mind. Accept your weakness but work on them if you need to. If you don’t need to work on them, don’t bother. Talk things up, not down. Lean towards optimism not pessimism. Learn to lift your own body weight. Eat ‘big‘in the morning :) Strengthen but soften. That's important otherwise tension builds.
Let the day be done. When it’s done it’s done. Turn off your brain. Turn off your computer. Go and do something that rejuvenates the mind and the body. Move on from stuff quickly. Leave yesterday behind. You’ll never get it back. Do nothing for 15 seconds in between tasks. Retreat every now and again into your ‘nothing box’. Nobody will miss you. Infact they might be happy for a break lol. Lie on the floor and play dead whilst watching TV. It works. Trust me. You'll feel much better afterwards.
Stop talking so much and listen. I mean really listen.
Take regular breaks. Do things methodically and meaningfully. Don’t accept pressure as a norm. Slow is the new strong. Rome wasn’t built in a day. Accept that. Walk slower. Talk slower and your breath will slow. A slow breath means a more proactive mind, not a reactive one. Life is not a competition. A competitive tender might be but life in general isn’t. Let go of your long term vision and focus on what’s on your desk. That’s the limit of certainty. The end of your desk. Everything else is a mystery. Eradicate the word ‘manic’ from your vocabulary it’s ‘panic’ with an ‘m’. Take something off your list and give it to someone else. They are better at it than you. Try it.
Lower your expectations of yourself and the team. Setting too high expectations simply leads to stress and results deteriorate. 'Do' less. Accept 'average' might be good enough today just like Donny Osmond did when he did the performance of his life. Wind down the pace of your day before bed time. Buy a sleep app or Google 432Hz for bedtime. Go with flow when you can. Stop pushing, forcing and stretching yourself too far. Work hard but not into the danger zone. Find your ‘freedom’ and do it occasionally. Go for a walk at lunch time. Take five minutes before you walk through the door. Get a nice bed. AND a nice bedroom.