leadership

Attention leaders, are you running on empty?

By Alex Tuillio, CEO
on August 13, 2019
leadership

Attention leaders, are you running on empty?

By Alex Tuillio, CEO
on August 13, 2019
The longer you work, the less productive you become? Let's talk about the concept of diminishing returns at work...
I can't tell you how often I meet tired and stressed out leaders.

Look, I know it's hard to rise above a culture that puts a badge of honour on exhaustion from hard work. As a business leader, you may even feel a duty to be more conscientious than your employees. But if you head down this path of self-sacrifice, then chances are, you and your people will end up in a vicious circle of working longer and harder, with no end in sight. The lack of limits will lead you to what Arianna Huffington calls "civilisation's disease" - the dreaded burnout!
How tiredness affects workplace behaviour
You've heard it all before - working non-stop contributes to accidents, increases stress levels, reduces productivity and even makes you more vulnerable to some diseases.

BUT bestselling author of Why We Sleep, Matt Walker, provides deeper insight into the smaller changes in behaviour that you might see in the workplace as a result of lack of sleep.

Now, even if your people are not burning the midnight oil, the quality and amount of their sleep can actually be compromised through stress. And according to Walker, employees who lack sleep will choose to work on less challenging problems, generate fewer creative solutions, contribute less in a team environment and are more likely to lie!

Clearly, these behaviours are at odds with a high-performance work culture.
Employees who lack sleep will choose to work on less challenging problems, generate fewer creative solutions, contribute less in a team environment and are more likely to lie.
Doing less can definitely improve performance
If we're all at least somewhat familiar with the consequences, then why do so many of us struggle with maintaining a healthy work-life balance?

One of our founders, Steve Hooker, CEO of Resimax Group and a former Olympic gold medallist, talks about this problem during our recent podcast episode: "The easy thing to do is more. The hard thing to do is have restraint and feel and believe you've done enough," he explains.

Steve draws from his experience as an elite athlete in pole vault, having experienced first hand the downside to pushing yourself beyond your limits. By re-calibrating the balance he found that he performed at his best. That meant a combination of high quality training sessions with generous recovery time, applying restraint and rest rather than unnecessary training hours.

Since taking up his leadership role at Resimax Group, Steve has applied the same wisdom - he keeps reasonable hours and avoids working long stretches in one go to maintain optimal performance.

"I'll go home to see the kids, rest, recover, and then if I've got another couple of hours I'll do work after that. And I'll only do it if it's going to set up the next day - if it's not important for the next day, I'll leave it and push it out," he says.
Building an environment for success
Steve spoke a lot about cultivating the right environment, seeing it as crucial to getting the best out of people. This is a fundamental part of his role as a leader, being attuned to recognising symptoms of fatigue in others, and figuring out how to ease the pressure they're feeling. By constantly reassessing priorities, he sends a really important message to his team that no one can or needs to do everything.

"If I'm focusing on that then everything else takes care of itself," he says.
"The easy thing to do is more. The hard thing to do is have restraint and feel and believe you've done enough,"
Steve Hooker, CEO, Resimax Group
Don't be a liability
Of course, another vital role of a leader is to galvanise the team and fill them with strength of purpose. But Walker says lack of sleep compromises this ability too. Interestingly he discovered that the amount of sleep a business leader has influences the way their employees perceive them.

Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn, goes further by saying that a leader who has pushed themselves too far, and is running on empty, becomes a "liability" - to themselves, their employees and their investors.

In the end, it's your job as a leader to create an ecosystem where your people can truly thrive and perform at their best. And it all starts with the behaviour you model. So ask yourself, are you demonstrating balance to those working around you? Have you got the balance right? How is it affecting your performance?

Now tune into the conversation with Steve Hooker - this is exactly the motivation you need to get the balance right, and perform at the top of your game! Catch us on the Engage.Coach.Grow. podcast.

If you're ready to take things to the next level, I'd LOVE to help you get there. Jump onto https://trampolineplatform.com/hpl and get started today! This is how you get to be the BEST, and build the best teams. It's high-performance leadership coaching in an app! Brought to you from the top leaders and coaches in the world. I want you to try it!

If you're interested in learning what Trampoline can do for your business, drop me a line!

A leadership mentor,
for self-improvers
& high performers.
With a personal accountability coach in your pocket, it's easy to keep on top of your game. Get High-Performance Leadership App!
If you want to hear more about Trampoline, send us a message at info@trampolineplatform.com
Jump on the Trampoline!
Sign up to our newsletter for the latest insights plus emerging behavioural science trends.
Plus, you'll get access to our Engage.Coach.Grow Podcast!

READ FURTHER