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Leading When You're Exhausted: My Hot Tips

Lucy looking exhausted and musing about how to lead when you're exhausted
The exhaustion is real - physical and emotional!

It's hard to believe it's already February - 2022 is already flying! Once the calendar flicks over to February the summer break is done and dusted for another year.

One of my clients recently said to me on her first day back “those nine beautiful days of sun and sand seem like a distant memory now” followed by a siiiiiiiiiigh. Day one back in the office and if felt like those summer vibes were long gone.

So many of us have returned to work this year feeling in many ways less energised than when we crawled our way across the 2021 finishing line!

Can you relate? I know I can - there is nothing even slightly relaxing about a holiday by the beach with a toddler!

It begs the question then, as a leader, how do you energise and inspire a team when you’re feeling de-energised? Here’s a few tips:

You don’t have to be perfect to be a great leader

Congratulations, you’re a human and you’re perfectly imperfect. So please stop beating yourself up for the unrealistic expectation of needing to nail everything!

You will inspire your team by showing them you’re a human - just like them - and empower them and build trust when you lead by inspiring them to learn from how you handle your flaws and imperfections.

So, if you’re like me and you’re feeling de-energised firstly know that’s okay! Now’s the time to honour what it is you need right now. And if you’re looking for inspiration head over to my blog post - Christmas Holiday Expectation V Reality - where you can read all about the expectations of my summer vacay versus the actual reality, but also some suggestions to re-energise yourself post break.

How you’re feeling doesn’t have match how you behave

Real talk: you don’t have to love someone to treat them in a loving way and you don’t have to feel energised to lead a team with energy and enthusiasm.

As a leader it’s still possible to actively listen, share information or advice, hold space for your team and make decisions even when you don’t feel like it!

Here’s a game changer… your values don’t need permission from your feelings in order to take action.

My highest values are humour, hope and respect and these kick in every day without me ever needing to tell myself. I can relax knowing that I will respect my clients by showing up for them 1000% (even when I’m tired), I will find the light and be able to laugh in every situation (even when I’m grumpy) and I will always assume best case scenario and do what’s within my power to deliver against this (even when I may have left something right up until a deadline). I also know the values of my team members and lean on them for the areas that take far too much thought and energy than I have to give.

What are your values? And how do these come to light without you even realising it?

Focus on a higher sense of purpose

If we took the time to analyse our negative thoughts most of them would be traced back to either a ‘failed’ expectation or a fear we won’t get what we want. Sound familiar?

But here’s the thing: these unhelpful thoughts are about you. What if you took the focus off you and instead focused on the higher purpose of your work? In the words of Simon Sinek, the why. If you can come back to the greater goal it creates room for more helpful thoughts aligned with the action you want to take.

So, if you find yourself - like me - starting the year with little to no energy try focusing on the difference you’re making - to your team, to your workplace or even to the world at large - and keep moving towards the greater goal and watch your sense of enthusiasm (and energy) increase. This is SO bloody powerful!

Re-connecting your team after lockdowns and a summer break is a great way to start the year and set goals for the year. I have a couple of spots left so reach out if you’re interested.

Not sure on your values? Let’s have a coaching session for you and the team to get crystal clear on what these are and how to use them for purpose and performance.

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