When does leadership stop and life start, if it does?

This is such an interesting question. This morning I had an experience which made me realise that it probably never does. Not for me at least. Leadership is on my mind most of the time, including at 3pm on a Saturday afternoon, as I write this content. 

Here’s what got me thinking about this one, today. 

4.30: Wake up thinking about leadership 

5.00: Bike ride for 50k thinking about leadership 

7.00: Run off the bike for 1.5k thinking about leadership 

7.30: Coffee with son and riding buddy talking about leadership… 

Maybe that is too committed (or obsessed maybe) – I know my buddy got sick of hearing about it… 

So, there are probably three trains of thought on this one. From the worst case, when leadership (and its associated pressures), get too much, and you can’t stop thinking about it. And you can’t sleep at night. To the other end of the spectrum, when it is a topic you love, it is your work (like it is mine), it is something that you can share to change other’s lives, and you get a lot of enjoyment from thinking about it and working in it.  

Then of course there is somewhere in the middle. 

1. BAD: When leadership is stressful, and it gets in your head, and you can’t get it out 

There are so many high achievers who will tell you that they work around the clock. I saw something from Elon Musk recently, who shared that since buying Twitter he is working 18 hours a day. Every day, to try and run the three businesses that he owns. We can only imagine some of the decisions that Elon makes on a daily basis. How he gets any sleep is beyond me. 

For the rest of us, a tough day at the office, dealing with humans who have human challenges, can be stressful, and can cause us grief. They can cause negative emotions, sadness, or if bad enough, it can turn into a chronic health issue. Which is uncool. I have seen leaders beaten down by the stress of their roles. And not only does their work suffer, but their home life suffers, too. Which impacts their family members. 

If this is you, please reach out for support. My job is to help you work through those stressors. And provide you with tools to manage them. 

Or leave your current employment. Now. There is no job that is so important that it should cost you your mental health. 

Manage your leadership, don’t let your leadership manage you! 

2. GOOD: When you love leadership, and do it to help others, and to contribute 

This is me. I am fairly in this category. 

I love the concept of leadership. I came to leadership coaching through the experience of having one horrible leader, who crippled my confidence. Who showed no care. Who crushed other humans. Because he could. And because he didn’t care. 

My mission is to take up the battle against old school leaders like that to make sure that they don’t hurt humans. That they are aware of the impact that they have when they lose their emotional control. And are aware that it is 2023, and that style of leadership belongs in the 1900s. 

Similarly, you might be in this category if you are a good leader. You do it to help others, and you were a good technician who was promoted. You ended up in a leadership role without know what it entailed, and you have run with it. You work hard to make the workplace better, you might even be someone who comes along to our training programs to improve your leadership skills. Because for 90% of us, those skills have to be learnt. 

Be a good leader, because the world needs more good leaders  

3. GREAT: When leadership is just who you are, and you just lead others 

Now this one is my favourite type of leader. These are the leaders that don’t need a formal title to be a leader. They generally have a formal title (but may not) and they just do leadership work. And do it well. They don’t have to be told anything about leadership, they don’t have to be shown the right way to treat humans, they don’t have to apologise for their lack of emotional control (because they generally keep it together). 

And then, they take leadership home. They are coaches on the weekend. They are in Rotary on Tuesday nights, and they are an inspiration to others. They are the 10% of the population that are born leaders, who just show up on the planet ready to inspire and motivate others. 

These people have a natural empathy for others. They care. They are compassionate. They have an energy that draws others in, not push them away. They are leaders, when others are looking, and when others aren’t looking. These humans just do leadership, because it comes naturally to them.  

Remember that leadership is taken, not given. 

In summary, don’t let take your leadership home if it is impacting your life. Be the leader who shows up for others, and who knows how important leadership is. Or if you are one of those humans that was born a leader, keep up the great work! You inspire us! 

And please click the image below if you’d like to chat about what leadership means to you.

If you would like to learn more about Anton or The Guinea Group, please click hereto book into Anton’s calendar, to:

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About Anton

Anton has dedicated his working life to helping leaders to upgrade their mindset, upskill their leadership, and uplift their teams! With a focus on helps leaders to better lead under pressure. Anton is an entrepreneur, speaker, consultant, bestselling author and founder of The Guinea Group. Over the past 19 years, Anton has worked with over 175+ global organisations, he has inspired workplace leadership, safety, and cultural change. He’s achieved this by combining his corporate expertise, education (Bachelor of HR and Psychology), and infectious energy levels.
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