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Now’s the Time… High Performance Leadership and Self Care?

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  • Leadership is challenging.
    Criticism of leadership, from numerous directions, can feel like death by a thousand cuts for those of us who are brave enough to take on leadership positions.

    Learning resilience strategies, that are not driven by ego, is critical for sustainable results. One of the most important resilience strategies all leaders need is self care.

    Self care is essential to your health and the health of your organization.

    Throughout my adult life, I’ve experienced numerous leadership positions and leadership roles.
    Often, I was up to my eyeballs with new responsibilities before I knew it and didn’t understand or have the time to look into how to survive my new reality. I had a skillset that was necessary for the work, I knew I had leadership capacity… but didn’t understand what self-care really looked like for me in my role.

    My experience is familiar to many people who are promoted into positions because they were great at their previous role. For many of us, we end up in leadership roles and suddenly have responsibilities that are unfamiliar and take an immense amount of self awareness and other awareness.

    Burnout can begin to undermine the job we want to do, the life we want to live and the even the self-care efforts that we may be trying to sustain.

    There were times when I believed there was no other way, that the situation was my lot in life. I resigned myself to a mindset that was limited to what I knew. Little did I know that there were coping strategies within my reach.

    I did not have a very robust idea of what self-care is about. I want to share with you some important truths and some questions for self reflection about self care that I wish I had explored earlier.

    First and most important, self care, not driven by ego, is important. We cannot give what we do not have.
    What resources are within my reach that I can draw on?
    What do I truly believe about taking care of myself?

    Self Care starts with what we choose to believe and focus on.
    Condemning or critical thoughts may be undermining your self-care efforts. Choosing to talk to ourselves the way we would talk to a friend is a courageous choice.
    Am I choosing to be compassionate to myself? Are there useful resources within my reach that I could or should access?

    Self Care looks different for each of us. What fills my bucket may not fill your bucket. This is not about what SHOULD work for us. Regular, seemingly small deposits into your self care bank are more effective than massive one time efforts. Think of it like the daily act of brushing your teeth, as opposed to taking the holiday of a lifetime.
    What would add to my bucket today?

    Self Care is about meaningful connection.
    Who are the people in your life who care about me?
    What can I do to grow this important resource in my life?

    Self Care is about finding moments, people and places where we can feel emotions.
    Do I have a place to feel hard emotions in a safe place experience feeling seen, heard and understood?

    Self Care is about finding opportunities for laughter. We all need to laugh and play.
    Where can I find something today that will give me a good belly laugh?

    Self care is about rumbling with setting boundaries.
    Boundaries are about what’s ok and what’s not ok AND about being clear about what is mine and what is not mine.
    What can I do to get clear about my boundaries?

    Now, can you give the people in your team permission to do the same? The flip of self-care for others is empathy…. one of the most critical, and challenging skillsets for today’s leaders.

    My suggestions:
    Choose one of these elements of self care and strategically add it to your life for two months, then move on to another one of these elements.

    Working with a coach has also been the best self-care gifts I have given to myself. Change almost always begins with a conversation.

    Your 2019 will look brighter and more successful if you give yourself permission to play and get curious with self care strategies.

    Self care has a way of growing what we most want in our lives. Want a healthy team? Taking the time to honestly ask the above questions is a courageous, and important, step.

    If you’d like support or to explore any of these ideas further with coaching or training, please contact me at alana@nowsthetime.ca


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    High Performance Leaders Need Rest and Play

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  • It’s’ spring!

    With the change of season, it’s a great time to reflect on how you might want to adjust using your time and energy.

    How many of us have forgotten how to REST? How many of us have forgotten how to PLAY?

    I am guilty of not being aware of play or creating the rest I needed. I spent YEARS breathing way too fast, racing from task to task and event to event.

    I somehow believed that my worth was attached to what was accomplished. Leaving something undone was actually painful.

    Rest and play are not just important, they are critical.

    Researcher Stuart Brown says that the opposite of play isn’t actually work, it’s depression. Sadly, I know this all too well too.

    What happens to us when we don’t rest and play? Creativity suffers. Relationships suffer. Effectiveness suffers. Clarity and purpose suffer. Decision making ability suffers. Our overall capacity for resilience suffers.

    Can you relate?

    There is one simple metaphor that helps me choose when REST and PLAY are important: an elastic band.

    When we work so hard, give and parent, the elastic band is stretched with each new effort. Some elastics have far more “give” and can stretch great distances, much like each persons ability to work.
    Be careful to not let pride and ego take over here…. elastics have a breaking point. So do we.

    It’s impossible to know when an elastic has reached it’s breaking point. There are clues, but sometimes they surprise us.

    What clues are in your life? Are you paying attention to the clues? Have you already learned this lesson, but need to learn it again?

    Better than stretching an elastic to breaking point, is a the use of an elastic to stretch and release. Work and rest. Play.

    Referring back to the body of research by Dr. Stuart Brown, play is time spent without purpose; time spent when we can lose track of time and self consciousness.
    For me, that usually involves being in nature or in water…. and that is where I find hope, rest, creativity and a tonne of joy.

    Where do you feel like you lose track of time and self consciousness?

    That’s your zone.

    Find it and make sure you refuel.

    The purpose of an elastic is to stretch. For that it must contract.

    Work can be immensely satisfying. For that we must find rest.

    We cannot give something that we don’t have.

    What do you find restful? Where do you lose track of time?

    What resources do you have to employ a period of rest?

    Are your holidays restful and playful for you or are they a different form of work?

    Do you have any practices in place that allow you to shut off your phone?

    Give yourself what you need if you’re feeling stretched and ask yourself what is important. Get curious. Then breathe deep and make some choices.

    There may be hard choices at first. As you get better at playing and resting, you’ll become better at it.
    You’ll thank yourself.


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    Branded Content

    Todayville Top 5 features five facts about favourite fooderie… Earls

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  • Todayville Top 5 is a sponsored segment produced by Jock Mackenzie (learn more about Jock below).   In this feature we learn (you guessed it) 5 things about some really cool aspects of Red Deer that make this city, our home.

    If our very first segment, Jock features a staple in Red Deer’s dining scene since it opened in … well let’s leave that up to Jock.  Welcome to the Todayville Top 5 with Jock Mackenzie.

    Todayville Top 5 Featuring Earls Restaurant

    1 Heritage

    Earls in Red Deer was the seventh-ever Earls in existence. Bill and Rhonda Olafson purchased the franchise and opened the current restaurant in 1984. Chef at the time, Andrew Lam, is still involved. Over the years, additions to the west and north have been added as has the covered, heated patio. The patio is unparalleled by other outdoor dining facilities for comfort and its Hawaii-like greenery. Today there are over 70 Earls restaurants across Canada and the United States. The founder, Leroy Earl “Bus” Fuller, brought A & W to Canada and is also the founder of the Fuller’s and Corkscrew restaurant chains. 

    2 Community Support

    Giving back to the community is a cornerstone of the Earls Red Deer philosophy. Those in need come first: rebuilding the youth camp at Camp Alexo, the Youth and Volunteer Centre, support for the Women’s Shelter at their annual gala, title sponsorship for the last six years at Rotary’s Black Tie Bingo, a 5-year ongoing plan to support the new Child Advocacy Centre, wine and wine service at the preview dinner for the Festival of Trees since the Festival’s inception . . . and many more.

    3 People

    With over 80 people on staff, Earls has provided employment for high school and college students over its 35 year history. The Earls philosophy, the practical skill set, and menu knowledge make up the intensive training each support staff and server undergo. Consistency is a hallmark. Numerous staff members have made life careers at Earls–and that’s one reason why you can count on a great meal every time. 

    4 Menu

    Fresh ingredients are key! The kitchen deals with “just in time” orders so that produce and proteins (delivered three times per week) come fresh to each table. The menu is becoming more and more inclusive–it meets an ever-increasing variety of dietary needs: numerous gluten free and plant-based options are available.             

    5 Interesting tidbits

    Beer? Earls brews its own Rhino beers (pale ale, lager and a seasonal beer) in Surrey, BC at Central City Brewery. There are also local products from Troubled Monk, Blindman and Snake Lake as well as a wide variety of domestic beer.

    Four Earls “Test Kitchen” chefs travel the world looking for new ingredients and dishes. A “Test Kitchen” in Vancouver will roll out a new dish and tailor it to an appropriate market in the 70 locations across North America–the furthest away is Miami. 

    Want to know more?  Click to go to https://earls.ca/locations/red-deer 

     

    Todayville Top 5 features the freelance writings of Jock Mackenzie.

    Jock is an original Red Deerian!  Educated at Lindsay Thurber and Red Deer College (with a stint at the U of A), he became an educator himself, spending 31 years with the Red Deer Public school system.

    It’s safe to say Jock knows Red Deer about as well as anyone (OK.. maybe not Michael Dawe).   As a confirmed life-long learner, Jock never tires of getting to know his surroundings even better.  That’s where the Todayville Top 5 comes in.  In each feature, Jock shares a few ingredients that go into the mix that makes this delicacy called Red Deer the place we want to call home.  As a well organized person who knows you’re busy, he’s choosing just 5 juicy tidbits to share each time.

    If you’d like to be featured by Jock Mackenzie on the Todayville Top 5, just contact us at info@todayville.com.

     


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