A flash in the pan. He was great and then he fell. He couldn’t continue leading well.
You’ve probably heard these quips about leaders who burned out far too soon.
They didn’t have the stamina to continue in leadership. They couldn’t go the distance. They wound up with leadership fatigue.
But you can learn how to build up your leadership stamina.
If you’re wanting to lead for the long haul, you’ve got to build up your stamina for the trials of leadership.
Leadership can easily wear you down. You’ve got so much riding on the next project or the young leader you’re trying to mentor.
You know there’s a lot to be done. The key is to build your leadership stamina up before you hit the rough spots.
It’s no different than if you’re preparing to run a 25K (That’s a 15.5 mile run for those that don’t know, I didn’t until I ran my first 25K). You’ve got to slowly ease your way into the leadership position and work through the kinks.
Take on small responsibilities: You’ve got to start small. Find small leadership responsibilities that you can head up.
Complete the small leadership responsibilities with excellence. Do it repeatedly. Get used to the feeling of responsibility.
This responsibility will begin to weigh heavy on you at some point.
Take a break: When you’re prepping for a long run, there are plenty of running plans. One of those plans includes running a block and then walking two. You repeat this over and over.
Eventually you begin to run two blocks and then walk one. The walk is a resting period. Your body needs it.
The same holds true in leadership. Do a hard task and then allow yourself time to recover.
Your mind, and body, can only take so much. Until you’ve built up the stamina to continue past the point you thought you’d never reach.
Don’t feel ashamed if you need to rest. It’s okay. Take your rest and then get back in the leadership game.
Have a cheerleader: There’s nothing like running a race alone. It gets lonely and you fatigue much quicker.
During my first 25K, there were cheerleaders and bands and onlookers who told us to keep running. That we could reach the finish line.
This meant the world to us runners. We knew someone was cheering us on.
When you’re leader, don’t be a lone wolf. Find someone who can cheer you on. Find someone who will congratulate you and tell you that you can make it to the next mile marker.
You’ll need someone that can push you on when you think you can’t make it another day.
These are but the first steps in building up stamina as a leader. You’ll no doubt have other ideas on how this can be done. And I’m sure you’re implementing them into your leadership repertoire.
Build up your stamina today so you won’t flake out tomorrow.
Question: Have you focused on building up your leadership stamina? What are you doing to make sure you can keep going? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.