The space of your Self is occupied. By you. This is good news and bad news. On one hand, you are always with your Self. On the other hand you may be too much with your Self. The Self can be your worst enemy (‘we are our own worst enemies’) but also you could be your best friend. Best friends occasionally irritate you, precisely because of their closeness, their proximity. Perhaps you have wished, a few times, to take a little break from a ‘best friend’.
Leaders need to be good friends with them-selves. They need to have the insight and the maturity to see their Self in action: taking too much space? Too little space?
There are times when you should take a holiday from ‘yourself’, as the late John O’Donohue would say. It does not have to be a long, exotic holiday, but more of a time-out or a break.
These are five sets of symptoms which may suggest that you should consider that holiday (soon):
- You find yourself talking too much about you.
- For a little while you have been too harsh, perhaps too unkind, on yourself, blaming yourself for an unusual number of things.
- You are missing some life-lines (not dead-lines) such as kids birthdays, anniversaries, reunions. People seem to have a habit of having birthdays and anniversaries on the days you are travelling or absent.
- You find yourself interfering too much in other people’s lives, professional or personal.
- You have not had a chance recently to ask yourself that question about ‘what your legacy as a leader is?’, ‘what kind of house are you building?’, ‘what you are leaving behind?’.
There may be more symptoms but these are pretty important. Trust me, I am a doctor.
Sure, to identify the symptoms some insight capacity is required. Which I am assuming a leader has. If not, the case is terminal, anyway.
You may not have these leadership insights flagged in a traditional ‘leadership manual’. This is part of the ‘Not-Off-The-Shelf-Leadership-Stuff’ Series.
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