Written By Christina Kanu @MissKanu
Often time we look at our leaders as these supreme beings. We want our leaders to be robots. They can show emotion but not too much. They can have certain characteristics but only the characteristics determined by those that they lead.
Consistently I come across people who are turning into robots. They are becoming robots because they forgot that they have emotions. They believe that every leader has to turn off their personal emotions as soon as they take office. Most leaders quit because their emotions get the best of them. They do not have the ability to purge their emotions. Instead of dealing with the fact that they are human they decide to just quit. They throw in the towel after a bad day, or after someone upsets them. We expect that all leaders must be a boss every day 24/7 365. Our leaders are not permitted to have bad days. They cannot feel drained. They cannot feel overwhelmed. They simply cannot feel. This might sound crazy but it is all I hear from the leaders I work with. They are underappreciated and every single day they feel that their support team is disappearing. This can lead to an abundance of emotions without knowing how to handle them.
Leadership is a lonely road. I am going to say that again. Leadership is a lonely road. The people you thought would be there for you did not get on the bus. They dropped you off at the bus station and said I will see you when you get back. The people you thought would be there during the journey are not capable of being that support system in your life. What happens is you are left alone or with a few people. What do you do if you are this leader? Do you close up shop and quit your position at work or remove yourself from office ?
No. That is the farthest thing from what you do.
I have outlined a few steps to helping leaders achieve while dealing with the emotional roller coaster of leadership.
It is Okay to Cry
I will be transparent. At every level of leadership I cried. Sometimes it was the stress, the attitudes of other people, or it simply was a long day. Did that make me weak ? Absolutely not. It made me human. There will be days where you are so frustrated and you do not know what to do. Crying is very natural and it releases a lot of pressure from your insides. Get rid of that negative energy and shed some tears.
Find a Confidante to Vent To
Every good leader needs someone they can call in the midnight hour. This is a person who cares about your growth as a leader. They want to see you flourish and reach your potential. This person knows the right thing to say on any given day of the week. Having this person in your life will make the long days and nights in leadership a lot easier. It is best to make sure that the confidante will keep everything you say between you and them.
Take Time for Yourself
Most often leaders are stressed because they have not taken a day off. It does not matter what type of leader you are everyone needs a day off. This means no emails, no phone calls, and pure relaxation. It will reenergize you to work on whatever it is that you are working on. It is acceptable to let those who you work with know that you are taking some time for yourself. People will respect you if you tell them in advance. I encourage everyone to take at least 30 minutes to 1 hour daily for me time. In addition, have that one day that is just for you.
It is Okay to Mess Up No One is Perfect
I have yet to meet a perfect person. Everything will not be perfect. There will be really good days and really bad days. There will also be some in between days. All you can do is hope that you are striving for excellence. At least you will know that was your intent. Stop allowing the expectations of other people to mess you up and leave you feeling miserable.
Take every step a step at a time
Stop rushing to the finish line and you have not even started the race. We often get several steps ahead of ourselves. Sometimes you need to shake it off and take a few deep breaths. Have a vision of where you want to go but understand it will come to pass a step at a time.
Everything will work out you just have to believe that it will. I encourage each of you to reach out to a leader in your life and tell them you are proud of them. It will make all of the difference and help to provide that emotional support for those who are leading us to greatness.