One of the toughest parts of leadership is keeping a steady, sustainable pace. If you are part of a growing organization, you are going to constantly find yourself having to retool how you spend your time. There is always more to do, more people who need you and more responsibilities.
Like anything in life, if you are going too fast you blow right past the warning signs without giving them a second glance. How you respond to warning signs is one of the things that will make or break you as a leader.
Here are a few of mine:
When I don’t want to meet with people that I usually enjoy being around, I know I’m over-committed.
When I come into the office and immediately shut my door, I know that I’m too over-loaded with task to care for my staff appropriately.
When making dinner for my family feels like a huge luxury, I know that I’ve cheated my time at home too much lately.
When I have trouble making simple decisions, I know that my mind hasn’t had space to be rejuvenated.
What are your warning signs?
Great Post Jenni…so true. Praying for you this morning!
I’m going to put “steady sustainable pace” on my bathroom mirror. I think I’ve done all four of your warnings this week alone. Thanks for the warning, Jenni.
The last warning sign on your list – that’s one of mine as well. When I’m not able to make simple decisions, I know that there are way too many things going on in my head and I need to create some space to just think.
Another warning sign for me – when I intentionally ignore the things I “should” do, so that I can do nothing at all. For example, when my house is a mess, or I have things to do now that I’ve committed to, but I’d rather ignore it all and sit and watch TV instead.
When I realise I’ve skipped a meal or I come home and would rather crawl into bed than cook a meal.
When I haven’t cleaned – my bedroom will be showered with clothes, stuff as I’ve run last minute trying to find things, or come home and dumped it on bed or floor!
When I avoid calls or checking my inbox – the idea of someone wanting anything from me is so overwhelming I feel it may push me off the edge.
I’d agree with Laura Anne.
I’ve also found the early warning signs of overload involve large amounts of colored sticky notes in a desperate attempt to “organize” things. [It can be quite frightening to the casual onlooker]
Three of my warning signs are:
1) Leaving things I would typically never forget like my purse or phone.
2) Wanting to do mindless things like play a game of solitaire. Like Dawn, I am trying to organize something….anything.
3) Not playing music. First I avoid my instruments, when it reaches a point I don’t even turn on the tunes I know I had better change things.
warning sign: reading this post looking for a strategy to fight fatigue in ministry 🙂
My top three warning signs:
1) When I stop laughing at things I would normally find funny.
2) Working through lunch more often than not
3) The normally mind “easing” task of making a to do list becomes mind “boggling”