1. While this advice would appear on the surface to contradict popular sentiment being established by Simon Sinek, I completely agree that if you don’t take care of your own personal well being, you will have nothing left to lead with. Great leaders lead by example and they make those around them stronger and safe. Great leaders are able to articulate their vision of a future state and then everything they do serves as proof of what they believe. Those who also believe what you believe will work together with you towards a common goal.

    You are also correct in how you dispense leadership advice. There is a certain perspective that each layer of management will have and at every level, that guidance will need to be tweaked. I believe that being a great leader doesn’t mean enforcing your authority over others, it’s about growing and getting stronger together and inspiring those in your charge to ask better questions and demand better answers. In short, its about empowering others to be accountable not because they have to, but because they want to be accountable to themselves.

    The predictable surprise in all of this is that if you neglect your own wellness as a leader, you will crash and burn and that is the legacy that you will leave. In the learning industry, we focus on things like measurement, blended learning and AI, but do we stop to consider how wellness (sleep, diet and exercise) affects our ability to learn? Yes, another inconvenient truth that 97% of leaders conveniently ignore.

  2. As the former Executive Officer of an Assault Aircraft Carrier, my job was an 18 hour a day job, sometimes more. The ship runs 24 hours a day. On a normal day at sea, I would lock my door at midnight (otherwise people would be in my office all night), try to finish up any pressing paper work, hit the rack by 1:00 a.m., up by 5:00 a.m., do a quick tour of the ship, and be on the mess decks by 5:55 a.m. to ensure breakfast started promptly at 6:00 a.m., otherwise the day would get off to a slow start with 2300 sailors and Marines. Maybe, sometime during the day, I could catch a power nap, but no more than 20 minutes. Taking care of myself included locking that door at midnight and that power nap. If someone really needed to get in touch with me, they could, but not just to have a casual conversation after midnight. There is a reason these jobs are usually no more than 24 months!

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