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103. Rejuvenate your Leadership

It's time for rejuvenation. We know the holidays and end of year are packed with projects to wrap up, holiday parties to attend, gifts to buy, cards to write, and much more. But if you don't make time to rejuvenate your leadership, you won't be ready to reach your potential as the leader who creates more just and compassionate workplaces and communities in 2023. Don't worry, we have three steps to make it easy. In this episode, you will learn the following: 1. The importance of taking time to rejuvenate in order to be an effective leader. 2. Tips for saying no and setting priorities. 3. The benefits of establishing rest, rituals, and relationships to rejuvenate your leadership. Resources shared:


We offer this transcription by Capsho for those who prefer to read or who are hearing impaired.


Hello, and welcome to Stronger to Serve. I'm your host and leadership mentor, Teri Schmidt.


You are a leader who knows you cannot succeed in today's buka world unless you are skilled at cultivating cultures and capabilities. Our goal is to, each week bring you inspiration and practical steps to build and lead a highly motivated, high performing team where people are as concerned about each other's success, well being, and growth as they are their own. Sound good? Let's jump in.


Let me ask you a question. Are you using this end of year holiday season to rejuvenate to plan for next year? Or is your busy calendar just overwhelmed with year end projects wrapping up holiday parties full of sugar, gifts to buy, cards to send out, families to visit, and on and on? Don't worry, I get it. I'm guessing you're probably in the second camp, as I am, too.


And as I said last week, I'm not trying to add even one more task to your todo list. When I tell you that it's incredibly important that you use some time to rejuvenate. Why is it so important? Can't you just push through, get everything done, and start next year anew? Well, unfortunately not.


I know your potential for the gritty type of leadership that we'll need in 2023 will be greatly lessened if you don't carve out some time to rejuvenate. You see, I have big plans for you. I know you are the type of leader who has the values and courage to make our workplaces more just and compassionate, but you won't be able to do that if you don't make your rejuvenation a priority right now. And believe me, just like they often say, the authors write the book that they need to read. I'm giving myself this advice and this challenge as much as I'm giving it to you.


So will you join me on this journey? We should probably start with what does rejuvenate even mean? Well, the dictionary says it means to give new energy or vigor to to revitalize. So if I'm telling you to rejuvenate, how do you even do that? Well, I have good news for you.


You already started last week. Focusing on your why is a simple yet powerful way to ground you and bring you new energy for your leadership. So step number one is done. Step number two is to make a commitment to yourself and those you lead that you will, in fact, use these few weeks and make it a priority. And third, use the three Rs that we've talked about in the past rest, rituals, and relationships.


So let's start by revisiting what we mean by rest. Yes, of course. Getting a good night's sleep every night is incredibly important and has a tremendous impact on your wellbeing and your ability to lead. But I also like to focus on mini rests. I consider rest to be any practice that either energizes you or limits the negative effect of things that drain your energy.


I'd say a first step is to pay attention to what actually does energize you. This is usually tied to your strengths, so if you've done the work to discover those, you have a head start. For me, I know that if I'm in a rut or I feel drained, usually a quick period of learning by listening to a podcast or watching a video will energize me. That's because one of my top strengths is learner. I try to do a mini rest of learning in the early afternoon each day.


You know that time when you'd rather take a nap than get any work done? That's when I find it most helpful. Also, look at what is draining your energy. I know for many of us, getting hooked by our emotions is an energy drainer. We react to how someone spoke to us or to a disappointment at work.


So what can we do to limit the impact of that energy drainer? Well, I love Susan David's work on this. Have you seen her Ted Talk on emotional agility? If not, I highly recommend it. One practice that I've learned from her work is the NASA NASA approach to taking a mini rest when I'm dealing with emotions that are particularly energy draining.


So what is NASA? Well, first, the N stands for name. That means to name the emotion that you're feeling with as descriptive words as possible. If you haven't read Brene Brown's Atlas of the Heart, that's a great place to start to get a really wide vocabulary to describe the emotions that you are feeling. So first N.


Name it. Second, accept it. And that means to feel the emotion without judging it. Third, the S step out kind of go outside yourself. Some people will do this by saying, I notice that I'm feeling angry, or I notice that I'm feeling frustrated.


Just stepping outside of yourself can help you to deal with the emotion. And finally, the A act according to your values. And again, if you want to learn more about that, I highly recommend checking out Susan David's work. So those are a couple of ways we can interject minirest in our day. But let's be honest, to make time for rest, especially during this busy holiday season, we also have to be comfortable saying no.


We talked about this back in episode eight when we focused on prioritization as a refresher. Remember, if an activity doesn't align with your values or doesn't energize you, you need to say no. Believe me, I know that's not easy. But here are a couple of quick tips for saying no that come from Renee Brown. I'll share the link to the article in the Show Notes.


Some of my favorite points from the article are first, give your answer in a timely manner. Whether it's to your kids or someone else. This shows that you respect them much more than saying yes when you really should be saying no would do, by the way. And second, use your priorities to explain your answer. For example, maybe you're invited to a holiday happy hour and you need to say no.


Your response could be, thank you. I'd love to come to that holiday happy hour, but I'm prioritizing quality time with my family right now. When you deliver your no that way, with an answer that reflects your values, usually the person on the receiving end of that no is very accepting. So on to your team. What practices do you think help your team to take many rests?


What energizes each team member? What drains each team member? And how can you help them adopt practices to minimize that energy drain? So those are a few ideas for rest and how to incorporate it into your life to help you rejuvenate. Let's move on to rituals.


I thought about calling these routines, which also starts with an R, but I learned that the difference between a routine and a ritual is that a ritual has a purpose or a meaning behind it. For example, for me, my primary value is faith. And for the past several years, every weekday morning, I followed the same ritual. I turn on a seven minute song on my phone, and I try to sit in contemplative prayer for at least that long. Maybe your ritual is to take a ten minute walk in nature every day, because that reminds you of a loved one you've lost who used to join you in walks on the beach.


Or maybe you have a ritual of writing one note of gratitude to a person each day. As long as it's something you can consistently repeat and it has meaning for you, it will help to rejuvenate you and will help to decrease anxiety, because it can keep a constant in a time of change. In addition, as you know what we focus on, what we dedicate our time to expands. So if you have a ritual that you carve out time for each day or each week or even each year, that makes you focus on something that's tied to your values. So what is one ritual that is grounded in your values that you can either establish or cling to in order to rejuvenate your leadership?


Think about it and get started with it now, so that as times get harder, you'll be ready for your team. What practices get to the heart of who you want to be as a team? Maybe it's just a fun part of your weekly meeting, or a unique way that you celebrate accomplishments that can help you all to keep moving forward when you feel like you're running on empty. And finally, the last practice has to do with relationships. This has to do with reminding myself that we're all a part of a community.


Any practices that help me to zoom out from my small life and recognize that I'm not the center of the story have been helpful for me. This is one of the reasons that, as I've talked about in the past, volunteering can be so helpful for me. So can listening to or helping a friend who is going through a challenge herself. Whether we're reaching out to express support for someone else or seeking support ourselves, it can have a rejuvenating effect. The organization Driven calls out collaboration as one of their six domains of resilience, and Kelly McGonigal talks about the brain science behind this tend and befriend response in her book The Upside of Stress.


It turns out that when we reach out to others, our brains release oxytocin, dopamine and serotonin, increasing empathy, trust, motivation, optimism and perception all while reducing fear. That sounds pretty rejuvenating to me. For your team, what relationships do you need to build as a support network? Are there other teams or individuals at your organization or outside of it that you could partner with to offer mutual support? Start building those relationships now.


So there you have it rest rituals and relationships. As I talked about last week, the holiday season is built to support rest rituals and relationships. So let's take advantage of it and rejuvenate our leadership. Please take some time to think about how you can embed these into this season and in 2023. Because When Stronger to Serve returns from our holiday break in mid January, we're going to get right into the gritty leadership topics that will help you in your efforts to be a leader who creates more just and compassionate workplaces and communities.


We're going to get into topics like how to transform the energy draining friction of conflict into generative productivity through the use of social and emotional intelligence, perspective taking, communication and motivation. So yes, we're going to be spending some time talking about conflict. We're also going to talk about how to take action to enhance psychological safety on your team, how to negotiate and advocate for yourself and your team, how to make work meaningful, how to know when you can influence change in a toxic work environment and when it's time to leave. And finally, one of our upcoming topics and guests deals with how the emotional intelligence skillset has been impacted by inequity and how we can all elevate our emotional intelligence to create greater social awareness, psychological safety and improved allyship. As you can see, we've got some wonderful topics and guests coming up, but you will not be able to act on what you learn from them unless you take this time to rejuvenate.


So I hope that you have a wonderful season of rejuvenation. And until next time, lead with this quote by Zig Ziglar in mind. Make today worth remembering.


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