A few years ago, I ran the San Antonio Rock n Roll marathon. Well, actually I ran the half-marathon. I really didn’t train for it; just thought I would show up and start running. How hard could 13 miles be anyway, right? About half way through I began to run out of energy. I began the race trying to keep up with the crowd and quickly realized I didn’t wasn’t ready for this. I decided to slow my pace and manage the little energy I had left. With the aid of some well-placed energy drinks along the way and live bands playing about every three miles, I was able to cross the finish line. Not in the lead group, but also not in the last group.
Manage Your Energy
Like my half marathon experience, some people have to ration their energy so they don’t run out. Even high energy individuals can have the energy sucked out of them. Some experience the ABC’s of energy drain:
Activity without direction – doing things that don’t seem to matter.
Burden without action – not being able to do things that really matter.
Conflict without resolution – not being able to deal with what’s the matter.
If you find yourself in an organization where you deal with the ABC’s you have to work extra hard to manage your energy effectively. I suggest you do your most important work when you are at a high energy level and do your ABC’s during your slump times.
Manage You Thinking
The greatest enemy of good thinking is busyness. If you find your life is so busy you can’t take time during the day to think, then write down the things you need to think about most. Set aside a time later to really think about these things. Just don’t let the list get so long that you can’t possibly catch up.
Building a habit of reflection enables us to be intentional with our direction and growth both personally and professionally. We have all heard the saying, “experience is the best teacher”, but it is actually evaluated experience that teaches us the most. Taking time to really think about our successes and our failures help us learn and continue to move beyond our comfort zones. So, don’t forget to think.
Manage Your Words
Legendary basketball coach John Wooden said, “show me what you can do, don’t just tell me what you can do.” Actions truly speak louder than words. What would others say about you if they could only go by your actions? If you want your words to have weight, weigh them well before you speak.
If you have something worthwhile to say, say it briefly and well. If you don’t maybe you should just keep silent for a while. This not only applies to our oral communication, but our written as well. In a culture of social media where we have the “freedom” to voice our opinion on many different venues, it doesn’t mean we have to. Sometimes, silence is golden and managing our words allows us to listen even more.
Manage Your Personal Life
We have all heard of work life balance or leave your home life at home. The truth is, our personal life always effects our professional life. You can’t separate the two. What stresses us in one part of our life doesn’t disappear the moment we walk into the office. You can do everything to manage your professional life, but if your personal life is a mess it will eventually sour everything. What would it profit a leader to reach the pinnacle of success in their career only to lose their marriage or alienate their children? No career success is worth that.
I encourage you to make your definition of success this: having those who are closest to you love and respect you the most. If you blow managing yourself at home, then the negative impact will spill over in every area of your life, including work.
Many people underestimate how much the challenges they experience with a difficult boss result from their own poor self-management and self-leadership. If you want to build a better relationship with your boss, you must always lead yourself effectively first.
If you would like more information on how we can help you or your organization improve contact Azimuth Consulting at firstname.lastname@example.org