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Guest opinion: H.E.L.P. for leaders


By Dorene MacVey | Founder, iThrive31

Being a leader can be a difficult and sometimes thankless job. Here are some of the reasons why:

  • Expectations come from all fronts: boss’s needs, subordinates’ demands and peer requests, and you try to meet them all.
  • Workdays are consumed with problem-solving, putting out fires and unexpected priority shifts.
  • Career needs, along with your personal desire to grow, result in committee assignments, training programs and ad hoc projects teams.
  • To complicate this, humans are complex. As a leader, people come to you with various needs, demands and personality styles, which places more pressure on your leadership skills.

It’s no wonder leaders may leave work each day feeling exhausted. Yet being a good leader can be very rewarding and have a significant impact on individual and organizational success. Here are a few strategies to H.E.L.P. you be successful as a leader.

Humility – Suppress ego and practice humility. Don’t try to be the superstar. Be cautious in thinking that as the leader you have the best answer. Delegate, teach and help others shine. Be willing to share the credit and be open to different approaches. Equip others and you will multiply talent. By cultivating stronger talent, you will have more control of your time.

Energy – In order to bring energy to your job, work to generate energy in your life. There are some basic practices to consider here – proper rest, exercise and nutrition. These factors also contribute to clear thinking and a positive outlook. Leaders recognize that by first taking care of themselves they have more energy to bring to others.

Life Balance – Consider when and how to say “no.” Maintaining a healthy work and life balance is important to personal well-being and happiness. Be aware that sustained workday shifts of 10-12 hours are unhealthy and can lead to burnout and physical harm. Make sure to integrate fun into your life and put energy into interests outside of work – family, friends and hobbies.

Planning – Good planning and time management techniques can help create order and discipline. Block out time each day to set goals and establish a daily direction. Commit to dedicated, focused and proactive planning to chart your course and help you spend less time in a reactive, firefighting mode.

Finding ways to H.E.L.P. yourself as a leader will create a more fulfilling role for you and demonstrate a better example for others to follow.

Dorene MacVey is the founder and head coach of ithrive31, a coaching and personal development company. She does leadership and professional coaching in organizations as well as personal coaching. Dorene has over 25 years of corporate leadership experience working in large global organizations. Contact her via email.

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