Issue #38
#38 - Putting on our own oxygen masks first
October 07, 2022

What's up, everybody?

Last week our most commented upon story was #2, which highlighted the need for leaders to create "quiet" for their teams; to simplify and provide clarity for them. One reader astutely flagged to us that this was hard to do on behalf of a team -- if you hadn't done this for yourself in the first place.

This sequencing makes sense, broadly: how can I hope to lead and take care of others, without having taken care of myself? But of course in practice, this can prove tricky for a leader to pull off.

So this week we use our stories to take a look at the intense pressure which leaders and managers now face, generally; to call out one of the tensions at the heart of leadership; and ultimately, to highlight the efficacy of self-care, and to make the case that a leader deserves and requires that care as much as anybody.

Thanks for reading -- and have a great week!

Aki & Usman


#Leadership #Self-Interest #Self-Care

"S. Sinek", above, is Simon Sinek, the best-selling author, and leadership thinker. In this quote he explains a key aspect of "servant leadership": the idea that leaders should put their team's interests ahead of their own.

That requirement does beg the question though: how do we reconcile the need to take care of our team, with the need to take care of ourselves?

Our take is that a leader being selfless by giving credit to their team for a win, or taking responsibility for a loss -- is not mutually exclusive of also taking care of themselves. That there's a distinct difference between sacrificing and subverting our self-interest at work -- and neglecting to take care of ourselves altogether.


#Leadership #OxygenMasks

Laszlo Bock, quoted above, is the co-founder of Humu, a software package for coaching managers. But he was also the Chief People Officer at Google in the years Aki worked there. And the need to "put on your own oxygen mask first" was one of the most resonant lessons he shared with Google leaders in those years.

Humu's recent analysis of data from 90,000 employees paints a sobering picture of the mounting challenges managers are facing right now. But it also makes Laszlo's advice as relevant and sound as ever: you must take care of yourselves first, because the downside of neglecting to is harmful to you -- and to your team as well.


#Supertrait #SelfAwareness #Intuition

Jacinta Jimenez is a psychologist and author, who writes extensively about burnout. We feature her Tweet for its simplicity, and for the way it extends the need for self-care beyond just work, to our families and communities.

The bottom line is that when we thrive, those around us also do. We all know this intuitively. And yet it's somehow easy to forget just how direct and unambiguous the relationship is -- and how much positive impact we can have when we do get the sequencing right. ✌🏻

Thanks for reading. 🙏🏻

Work moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
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