The Labor of Leadership

Labor Day in the U.S. occurs on Monday, so it seemed timely to ruminate on the subject of work, in particular, in your role as leaders. Undoubtedly, your work extends way beyond the official office hours, so it’s important to take the time to hit the pause button and ponder.

Do work and play coincide for you? Do you feel energized by your work or does it drag you down? Do you enjoy what you do so much that you’d do it for free?

Your leadership role has an impact on how you view your work based on the challenges you face regularly. You may have loved your work while you advanced as a “doer” of the work, but as a leader, your perspective may have changed.

Many people I’ve worked with over the years unintentionally morphed into leadership roles. They didn’t think much about it until one day they awakened and realized that they were “doing” less and spending more time dealing with management issues.

As a result, it’s important for you to periodically focus on yourself, not just the business at hand. In the days ahead, reflect on your personal leadership accomplishments. Feel free to use some of these questions to stimulate your thinking.

  • Does my role energize or deplete me?
  • What are some of my proudest moments as a leader?
  • What do I regret having done as a leader?
  • How do I make a difference to my organization?
  • When I look back on my life when I’m 90 years old, what will I remember that made my heart sing as a leader?
I know that some of these require deep thought, but be honest as you assess where you stand today. And remember, you have the power to stand somewhere else tomorrow.

Have a great Labor Day weekend and week ahead!

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