Support matters – 5 ideas on how to support yourself as a leader
It’s true that, by definition, leaders are expected to show support and try to make their team stronger on their way to good results. But who then gives support to leaders? Are leaders even capable of asking for help and receiving it? What kinds of support are there anyway?
Managers, executives, and other types of leaders are often perceived as the ones who can keep their cool in difficult situations. Therefore, asking for support can easily be seen as a sign of weakness, often by the leaders themselves. They’re used to being able to do a lot of stuff on their own. They quickly develop new skills, adapt to changes, and focus on achieving outstanding results. Regardless of whether they successfully climbed up the corporate ladder or developed a profitable business on their own, they must be knowledgeable and skillful alongside self-confidence and ambition.
However, the support system is essential to every leader because it’ll be there in times of high pressure, stress, uncertainty, and fear.
Support comes from all sorts of places and in all findings and forms. You may already be using some of the suggestions, while you may find others new and valuable.
I believe the small activities you include in your day, when fulfilled, can essentially change your daily perspective. And that leads to improving your performance and business results. These may include: turning your phone down for 15 minutes each day, going out of the building you work in and taking a short walk, having some ice cream in the middle of the day, listening to your favorite song, reading an interesting article, talking to your loved one or simply going to the hairdresser for a blow-dry. I believe women leaders will better understand this last one.
Find something you really like doing, something that fills your heart with joy, and make time to do it. This can be a small, but profitable daily investment.
By this, I don’t mean networking in the classical sense of it. I suggest you find other leaders who might be dealing with the same types of problems and challenges as you are and openly discuss things you struggle with the most without sugarcoating. Aside from the exchange of ideas and experiences, sometimes it brings relief by simply knowing that somebody else is going through the same or similar issues as you are.
The first advantage of having a mentor, an adviser or a coach is that they save us time, supporting us in succeeding faster and more efficiently. Today a lot of information can be found on and off the internet, including all kinds of training, but we often find ourselves having trouble assessing which program is the best fit. We aren’t sure in what way we can apply certain knowledge to help ourselves or the business situations we’re in.
The most important thing is to find a person you trust and with whom you share your values and beliefs with. On the other hand, it’d be good if your mentor had practical knowledge and experience that differs from yours. Working with someone who has a different skill set can bring a lot of value to your own work. Practically, it’d be best if they been there. If they’ve experienced things you’re about to experience for yourself.
In a mentor, you should look for competence, professionalism, and trustworthiness.
No mentor or coach is universally the best. Nevertheless, we can find the most suitable mentor for our current needs and issues.
As a hedonist, I genuinely believe in the importance of fun in life. If you realize you’ve invested all of your time and power in succeeding in business at the end of the day, month or year, and had no fun doing it, you should rethink your to-do list.
The most common excuses are: “I don’t have enough time” or in my case: “I’m too tired.” That is the reason why I added the fun activities to my calendar next to my business-related notes. This way, I can look forward to them, but mostly I understand that they’re equally important as the business itself. It’s a way to accept and learn to make time to do them.
If you can’t think of anything fun to do, think about the stuff you used to love doing as a child. You have no idea how much happier your life will be after an hour of drawing, coloring, singing, skating, riding a bike, playing video games, running in the open, or playing with Lego.
Allow yourself to have fun again! It’s playtime!
Remember, you aren’t alone, and you don’t have to do everything by yourself. Understanding, support, and resources you need are only a text or a phone call away.
I’d appreciate it if you’d share your experience in excepting support. Feel free to describe what type of support suited and benefited you the most.
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