1. Get some sleep. The CDC calls it a “public health epidemic,” drowsy driving causes tens of thousands of injuries a year, and Bill Clinton once said “most of the mistakes I made, I made when I was too tired.” Imagine the leadership lift we could get if each of us got one extra hour of sleep. “Drowsy leading” isn’t as catchy as “drowsy driving,” but I have no doubt it causes plenty of organizational mashups.
2. Ask for feedback. Not only does asking for feedback set a good example for others to follow, it will give you crucial information you need to improve and to ensure that you are on the right track. After all, it’s not what we are aware of that gets us into trouble, it’s our blind spots. As you ask for feedback, please keep in mind Stephen Covey’s advice: “You can’t talk your way out of what you behaved yourself into.” However you can:
3. Talk about that “vision thing.” As George H. W. Bush learned, that vision thing matters. Not just imagining a future that you are passionate and clear about, but talking about your vision over and over and over again. Help others see how they contribute to it and build some momentum for achieving it. Don’t over think the fanciest ways to communicate your vision- the best way is the simplest: Talk about it a whole bunch and then talk about it some more.
4. Remember your why. Leadership is hard work, and it’s not for the faint of heart. But if you can keep in mind why you lead, it will give you the energy you need to keep going. Look at your own actions (and calendar), and ask yourself, “Am I spending my energy and time on what I believe is important?”
Bonus Idea: Leadership is about others. “You are not here merely to make a living. You are here in order to enable the world to live more amply, with greater vision, with a finer spirit of hope and achievement. You are here to enrich the world, and you impoverish yourself if you forget the errand.” -Woodrow Wilson.