Look after the Leader, look after the Team

Mental health has been a particularly prominent topic on social media in recent months. It has been both incredible and inspiring to see so many people speaking openly and truthfully about their own mental wellbeing.

The resources available to assist businesses in promoting and developing a culture of support and care are out there, probably more than ever. Courses, coaches and information are just some examples. There is no shortage of opportunity to help look after your team and their mental and emotional wellbeing.

What we don’t perhaps see as much of, is leaders looking after themselves.

In a previous career life, I became part of a culture of early morning starts, late evening finishes, where anything else might be frowned upon. Your dedication to the role and your career might be brought into question. Then along comes self-employment and whilst the scenario is the same, it is your own drive and passion for what is being created and developed that makes it so.

Looking after yourself feels wrong. Selfish. You might question your own commitment to your team, the business and your clients. Will my team feel unsupported if I take time out? Will clients feel frustrated if I am not available?

Can we really start to develop a culture of looking after everyone? From the leaders, to all those who make business function? My previous article ‘Delegation….That’s What You Need’ is pivotal to making this happen. However, it also needs a change of mindset for those of us leading teams, to appreciate that if we can look after ourselves, we will be better placed to look after those around us.

I am not one for taking regular breaks, days off or extra long holidays but I am starting with early morning dog walks and midday catch ups over coffee. The weight of responsibility for others and the future of our businesses can be a heavy weight to carry. We need to make sure our shoulders have some time to rest occasionally. We need to make sure we can be there for our team.

Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash

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