Do you Know Your Limitations?

A few years ago, I was attending the retirement party for Dave Toycen, CEO, World Vision Canada. As expected, he delivered an amazing speech at the end of the event wherein he highlighted all of the people who helped, supported, coached, mentored and guided him along the way.  As well, he took the time to pass on many lessons learned from his time with the organization.

One of those lessons learned resonated with me and, I suggest, should with many current and future leaders: be aware of your personal limitations.

The health and well-being of our leaders is critical to the success of our organizations. Great leadership is only possible if our leaders stay in control and make all efforts to stay healthy.

The key? Be aware of your personal limitations. Understand how far out you can go without breaking.  How many hours can you work without melting?  How many miles can you fly per month without expiring?  How many meetings can you attend without falling behind?  Know your limit, work within it.  (I stole that one from a local ad campaign – not about leadership!)

An exhausted, stressed-out, burnt-out, ‘meeting              -ed’-out leader is no good to anyone.

Once we know our limits, we will be able to track against them and thus be aware of any impending issues.

Some obvious examples:

  • Minimum hours of sleep per day.
  • Minimum down (non-work) time.
  • Minimum exercise time.
  • Maximum out-of-town trips per month

Maybe you have other limits you need to track against.  Reading time, travel time, meetings per week?

Define your limits, track against them and stay in control.

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