It seems like leaders are working harder than ever these past few months as organizations are attempting to breathe life back into their workplaces. The hybrid work model is still evolving, contributing to a great deal of confusion and uncertainty. From senior leaders to individual contributors, there are so many unanswered questions and concerns of creating a highly connected team. Some of the challenges that are being voiced sound like:
“I am so exhausted and I don’t know where I should be headed.”
“What is the point of gathering in the workplace on remote calls?”
“I do not have enough hours in my day to tackle my workload.”
“Should I really stay in this job, or should I just look for another?”
Many leaders are feeling overwhelmed with balancing or integrating their professional and personal lives. During the height of the pandemic they were not faced with as many choices as they are today. It’s understandable to feel like our working and personal lives are one big juggling act. But what if we adjusted our lens? What if we decided to swap out feeling depleted for leadership empowerment?
Feeling Depleted? Lead With These Five Plays
1. Identify What You Value Most
When I work with leaders who are feeling depleted, it is always helpful to begin with what they see as most important for their career journeys. We have conversations around the stories that brought them to where they are today and locate the lessons they learned. Through those stories we often pull together consistent themes about the impact of the decisions and actions they chose. They begin to embrace their core values.
2. Clarify Your Organization’s Direction
Equally important as recognizing their own values, leaders should take some time to delve into what is highly valued in their organizations. This is tricky, especially if a leader’s values are different from the organization’s. Some questions for leaders to ask themselves to clarify where their team is headed include:
- What is the vision of my team and organization?
- What additional information do I need for a better understanding?
- How do my values fit into that vision?
- In what ways can I accept the different values and what is non-negotiable for me?
3. Link In Critical Relationships
An empowering next play would be to reach out to your network for support as well as second opinions. Our team members are usually a good barometer for us in the way we are perceiving a workspace situation. Do your boss or teammates seem as depleted as you? If not, it may be time to have a one-on-one with a boss to share your thoughts. Leaders learn throughout their careers that their boss is highly invested in their success and often has insightful suggestions that can help them move forward in a healthy way. The people around us may be just as depleted as we are, so collaborating to cultivate a stronger work environment can benefit everyone.
4. Design A Plan That’s Manageable
Ultimately, leaders need to develop a strategy that will be sustainable for themselves in and out of work. For the plan to be sustainable, certain criteria should be included:
- SMART goals
- Boundaries for at work and at home
- Ways our values are included in the plan
- People responsible for different aspects of the strategy
5. Don’t Forget Self-Care
Let’s not leave out a play that accounts for us taking care of ourselves. During this in-between time of not knowing what our work worlds and careers will eventually look like, it is imperative to listen to our bodies and minds. Leaders that have healthy bodies will likely have strong and innovative minds. Be kind to yourself.
Related: 5 Pathways To Influential Leadership