Leader, Lead Thyself

How often have innocent people suffered because those in positions of power demonstrate lack of restraint?

Far too frequently.

Leadership is a hard and lonely lot - it requires difficult decisions and mental acuity gained only through intentional thought and contemplation.

Yet, leaders tend not to take this reality seriously and see leadership as a “perk factory” to improve their personal and professional life.

One should never take on responsibility simply for the perks and a title on a business card. Sadly, this is frequently the only motivation in seeking after and accepting leadership positions.

The tragedy is that leadership perks frequently include and encourage activities that benumb the frontal lobe.

This can look like consistent trips to cocktail hour, using increased resources to stock the pantry full of junk food, buying comfortable chairs and media to sit longer and move less, or not setting reminders to drink enough water to hydrate the body. It isn’t only the bad choices, it is also the lack of positive choices.

Leadership never waits; when immediate decisions need to be made the mind must be in tip top shape and ready to stand at the stern of the stalwart vessel given their charge, regardless of whether it is 5:00 somewhere.

A leader who chooses poor habits and is negligent in her charge is responsible for the injustice that may be committed under her lessened senses. When choices dull acuity, it becomes highly difficult - if not impossible - to judge calmly or have clear perception of the best decision.

Those in power positions should first exert power over themselves.

Self control is vital to successful leadership.

Those who have authority over others should hold themselves accountable to poor outcomes when lack of restraint is exercised. Every leader must understand they are to have full command of their physical, mental, and moral capacities in order to enact the justice they are expected to uphold at the very moment it is needed.

Here’s the reality - we will all fail to maintain our faculties meticulously at one point or another. Don’t be hard on yourself when this happens. Own your mistakes and put protocols in place to help avoid pitfalls in the future.

To be a leader, choose habits wisely. Ensure physical, mental, and emotional health are continuously fed and maintained. You never know when your highest efforts will be required.

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