(This post goes along with Leadership Level 1 - Personal Success.)
Ever feel like your life revolves around the gauges in your world? Think about this. Your cell phone's battery gauge tells you how much more talk and text time you have. If you drive a car, then your gas tank gauge tells you how soon you need to fill up. Seems like I'm always checking to see if my battery has enough juice or if my car has enough gas for the day. These gauges are helpful, especially since they glow and are easy to see. But some gauges aren’t as easy to notice, and sometimes it takes more effort to see their readings, especially in our own busy lives of leading others.
Part of successful leadership is knowing how to lead yourself well. And leading yourself well means taking time to look after your own personal needs so that you don’t burn out. The great thing about my cell phone and my car is that when the gauges show “empty” everything stops. Now, I know what you’re thinking, and I agree that a dead phone and a dead car can ruin your day. But because we know the outcome of ignoring these gauges, we are usually proactive enough to avoid those bad results.
So here’s my question for you today: are you ignoring your own personal gauges and pushing yourself past “empty”? Sadly, this is so easy for all of us to do as leaders. It’s so easy to get lost in the world of servant leadership, since it can be so rewarding at times. In fact, some of us can even become addicted to the good feelings of serving others and helping meet their needs. But it’s because others need us that makes it so vital to find a way to stop every now and then to rest, reevaluate and be refreshed. Whether it’s exercise, a nap, reading an inspiring book or doing something completely unrelated to your job and calling, we all need for you to take time apart, so that you can finish your life’s race strong. There are enough sad stories and statistics out there. Neither you nor I need to be added to those tragic lists. Decide today to make the most of your life and leadership by not ignoring those crucial gauges. God put those in us because, as much as he cares about our leadership, he cares even more about us.
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us.
–Hebrews 12:1 (ESV)