As I've continued to grow as a leader and mentor over this past year, there's one phrase that surfaced over and over that has taken some effort to comprehend the impact of: "What you permit, you promote..."
Earlier this year I finished the book "Be the Boss Everyone Wants to Work For", by William Gentry and one thing that really stuck out in that book (among a lot of things) is that people are always taking a peek at you, looking for how you do things looking for queues on the cultural pace of things at the office, which can have both good and bad consequences.
Here's a simple one, that I've found myself guilty of.
Are you encouraging your colleagues that they should have a good work life balance? Are you helping them take breaks during the day to refresh the mind/body and let and their problems trickle into the sub-conscious so they don't burn out?
Then why are YOU the person not taking a lunch break?
Yup... me... guilty.
The profound thing is that by permitting this kind of non-stop ethic in myself, I'm promoting it as the standard of doing things around the office. Being in the position that I am, that can have some pretty big ramifications.
To be fair, there are days that meetings are crammed together, or a deadline has been shortened, and those are the days that you do need to buckle down and get things done. If possible I'll be right there with you to rubber duck or sling a little code if I can. But deep down I think most days are not like this, if we take a moment to step back from our situation, and having that balance is far more important.
Moving into next year, I'm doubling down on my lunching efforts and also doubling down on my vacationing. I took far too little vacation this past year and telling others to do so feels a bit like lip service. I'll be blocking out my vacation times in advance on my calendar to make sure they happen. You should do likewise, even if they resort to a handful of 3 or 4 day weekends. The breaks are worth it, and you send a message that this balance is important.
What other leadership tips/nuggets do you have? I'm trying to gather as many as I can!