As people, products, and services move around the world at increasingly faster rates, there’s a greater demand than ever for effective global leaders. As with anything in leadership, being and becoming a global leader is a process, not a destination. Like leadership in general, effective global leaders are made not born. So, what makes a global leader effective? And how do leaders become global leaders?
Does the list of all that you’d like to accomplish in this life time excite you and simultaneously seem impossible? Are you in a place of feeling constantly overwhelmed by all that you have to do or that there simply doesn’t seem to be enough time to do all you feel called to AND be there for your loved ones? Or maybe even worse, do the people you see great potential in and then bring on to work with you leave way earlier than you ever imagined?
While the adage “leadership is lonely” certainly can be true in many respects, it doesn’t have to be. Yes, you will feel stretched as a leader, and likely out of your comfort zone a LOT when things are going well (and even when they aren’t). But being stretched and being overwhelmed because there is too much for you to do by yourself are two entirely different things. The first is normal as we grow in our leadership (which is hopefully always); the latter however is typically something we bring on ourselves, but has an easy remedy: empowerment.
Finding the right people outside of your organization to partner with can be tiresome and confusing, if only it was as easy as picking your favorite ice cream flavor. Okay, so that isn’t really that easy either, how about your go-to shoes?!
Working with a consultant can be one of the best things for you and your organization when you’re faced with a challenging situation or even when you’re faced with a new opportunity and you’re unsure which direction to head. Consultants provide expertise, relief from time constraints, experience, outside perspectives, new ideas, and can assist with effective problem solving. Whatever your need for a consultant, working with one should always leave you and your organization better off. So how do you pick the right one?
Newly in my position I was standing in front of a group of parents whom I didn't know very well yet. I was giving them all the details about a week-long canoe trip in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) for their high schoolers. After I shared an enthusiastic and detailed vision for everything the week would entail, I confidently asked if there were any questions. I was pretty sure there wouldn’t be any as I had laid out all the details and now it was simply time for their kids to sign up!
Well, the questions came pouring in and it soon became obvious that the parents didn’t trust me. I was dumbfounded. To my knowledge, I had never been mistrusted in my life. This was uncharted territory. Not only that, but I had spent countless summers leading multi-day camping, canoeing, and sailing trips. My credentials were impeccable. I was made to lead a trip like this!
We all know that we have to avoid burnout, or deal with the eventual consequences. And, we all know as well, these consequences don’t just affect us, they affect everyone around us: our team, our personal relationships, our quality of life, our health, and so much more.
When I was burning the candle on both ends, I could do it for a few weeks and then I’d inevitably get sick and be laid up for a week. Then the cycle would repeat itself. And believe me, I was trying to live a healthy life by working out regularly, learning how to eat better, and sleeping well. Doing those things probably helped keep me from getting sicker than I already was, but they weren’t enough to help me avoid the inevitable burnout.
We all know the right things to do to take care of ourselves. So it isn’t so much about finding time for self-care, it’s more about making time for self-care. But how do we do that when there’s always something else to do, something else vying for our time?