Being a Leader in the Face of Exhaustion

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Life is exhausting, we get it. No one is blaming, shaming, or judging you for opting to sleep after any duration of stressful hours. There is nothing better to do when you are exhausted than relaxing and probably sleep. 

Sometimes, though, as a leader, you worry about letting people down, not keeping up to your integrity, wasting time, or being selfish. Any great leader will tell you to stop and consider the effect you are actually going to have on your team or family if you lead from a place of exhaustion. 

The human body is machinery like no other, but that doesn’t make us invincible. Cars need duramax head studs to prevent oil from leaking into and breaking down the engine, and so do humans-our studs just look and are applied differently! 

Humans thrive on the perfect amount of quality sleep, dedicated time to relaxation and pleasure, and a harmonious balance of these combined with socialization, or in this case: leadership. 

Sleeping for your team

As a leader, parent, teacher, or role model, you are in the perfect position to set the stage for the next generations to follow in your footsteps. Ensuring ample amounts of sleep and insisting on those who look up to that sleep is essential for the entire team’s growth is one way to be a leader in the face of exhaustion. 

If you really weigh your losses, your team might lose you for a couple of hours extra at most, but in trade for a more effective, efficient you in your working hours. 

A leader not only takes care of themselves, but they also make sure the whole team is individually taking care of themselves and one another, including you. You’re not hiding it from anyone when you are exhausted. Your 6:00 pm cup of joe doesn’t imply ambition, it implies fatigue. Get your rest. 

Also, get comfortable reading the signs of others! Just like you can’t hide it, neither can they. Ask your team members to take rest and come back stronger than ever.

Outcomes of overdrive

When you become aware of your personal tendencies when you are on overdrive, meaning past the point of exhaustion, you will realize that you are only holding your team back by slowing them down. Silly mistakes, not listening fully, and projecting your stress onto others are all ways in which you are negatively impacting your team as an exhausted leader. 

It’s time to wake up and smell the coffee for real. When you notice how others are impacted by your participating in overdrive, you can also see how other team members are impacting one another and you. Also, not pushing anyone into overdrive is a clear sign of a good leader! 

Again, encouraging rest and relaxation are going to boost your team’s efforts, not diminish them. The two don’t need to be associated with laziness, procrastination, lack of effort, etc. There’s no denying exhaustion.

Going into overdrive can seem like a leaderly thing to do, but when you pay attention to these signs, you will realize it is not. It will more than likely result in resentment and bad feelings amongst your team.

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