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Have you noticed that life doesn’t always go to plan?

I used to think that as long as I worked out my objectives, set my goals, worked out my action plan and stared putting it into practice that everything would follow along as planned. It didn’t take me long to realise that life simply doesn’t always work that way. This is true whether you are leading your family, your team, a group of volunteers or an organisation.

I learnt early on that it is good to be agile and flexible when leading my teams, especially when leading volunteers. Volunteers come with many a varied personalities, ideas and “how too’s”. They do not fit into neat categories or behave as business associates. And like me, they come with their own emotions, different levels of mental wellbeing and of course different ideas on how things should be done.

Sometimes this leads to new and exciting ventures that create new community opportunities and sometimes it creates stress. I like to think that I am always at the top of my game when it comes to leading my teams. Lately though I’ve found it more emotionally difficult and tiring. Perhaps two years of Covid uncertainty have taken their toll. I think we are all tired. My teams are tired.

I am reminding my teams that their wellbeing is more important than anything we do. It’s great to achieve results, to connect with community, to pull off incredible events. There is an exhilaration that accompanies these and a sense of accomplishment when families are supported and communities are connected together. It is wonderful, but it should never be at the expense of their personal health, mental or physical.

I want to ensure I make the well being of our people a top priority and that all of us, as we grow and develop, will do so in a healthy manner. So to, that other leaders can also set an example of what it means to prioritise well being.

As I reflect on my own tiredness, I realise once again that nothing is worth compromising our health and well being. Good leadership requires many skills. Most importantly though, good leadership recognises that personal well being is crucial to effective and long term leadership.

This is an area I continue to work on for myself and for others. Sometimes I find myself struggling to move forward, struggling to be motivated. I’ve been burnt out and tired beyond words. I’ve taken time off to rest, recuperate and refresh.

Covid has taught me that I must pull back at times, slow the pace, be more reflective and contemplative in my life. It has given me the chance to heal and to think about what type of a future I want to create for myself and those in my sphere of influence. I am choosing a future that will be restorative in nature, less driven, more productive, more creative and with time to do the things I love.

I am beginning to look forward to the future again.