“Recharge The Batteries — Balance”: this is the seventh in a series of blogs on adaptive leadership.
It is my belief that foundational leadership principles give leaders the ability to build teams capable of handling whatever might come their way. This series is based around what we at Level Five Associates have as one of our foundations: “The Big Six.”
The Big Six are the result of years of personal experience and observation of what make great teams work.
Part of what we consider so important about The Big Six Leadership Principles® is a belief that these concepts are, essentially, universal and unchangeable.
The underlying principles are always the same, giving us as leaders a foundation to build resilient — and adaptable — teams.
I Need to Recharge My Batteries!
The sixth principle of The Big Six is “Balance.”
We talk about balance sometimes in terms of work-life, in terms of hours of the day, or time management. I’ll just tell you right now I think time management is a misnomer. For example: you can’t manage time the same way someone can manage money. Money can be lost, but earned again. Time is finite. When it is gone, it is gone for good. What we can do is take more control of the time we have.
Now more than ever, we’ve got to take more ownership of the time we have if we’re going to create a sense of balance in our organization. One of the pitfalls of crises like the pandemic is that we can either work all the time or work very little. We can go to one end of the spectrum or the other. We need to establish the value of routines, the value of discipline, and — the value of balance.
One of the reasons I strongly encourage all your remote workers use video in every meeting: you’re able to see the person, how they look and act in their body-language responses; you can get an idea of how much rest they are getting, etc.
But I think it’s also important to have some fun—that is a value you can also promote! One idea along these lines that’s gotten attention: setting up virtual happy hours. I don’t know whether every day is a good idea… but once a week or so, why not? Let’s have a virtual happy hour at the end of our meeting, with folks selecting their drink of choice, be it non-alcoholic or an adult beverage. Toast and salute each other just as we would in a more intimate environment. Yes, we can have fun in our distributed environment!
Celebrate joyous events like family birthdays or anniversaries. Promote a sense of humor about life during the pandemic. A good sense of humor can be so very instrumental in helping us cope with all the constantly changing news and circumstances. We need time with our families and friends as well as time to work. Moreover, we must establish a discipline to balance both, while respecting the need for both. We need to believe in each other and have a sense of humor. (Another thing: take the time to thank people when they do a good job on a project.)
If you see someone who doesn’t seem as though they’re either as committed or as engaged because they’re not participating actively, I would watch them carefully. To me, these “silent soldiers” are indicating they have something else going on. I like the idea of having “battle buddies,” where everybody on the team has a buddy in the organization. Your battle buddy looks out for you but needn’t be in your chain of command. In fact, I’d recommend that they not be in your chain of command. Peers make the best battle buddies.
Battle buddies should have a check-in system with each other. When you see that there’s a silent soldier in the ranks, ask the battle buddy to meet with him and see what else may be going on. Typically, if someone’s not engaged, it’s not just because they’re an introvert; it’s because something else is happening and their life may be out of balance. It’s not just a question of their focus, but also of their energy levels.
Balance of Energy Levels
We’ve all got four levels of energy in us:
The “batteries” for each of those have to be charged. If any of them gets low, then our poor behavior and our poor performance are direct outcomes of that lack of balance.
So, balance is a matter of energy, not time. We need help to get that balance correct. And, we need help in times like this more than others. I think a ‘battle buddy’ system will really pay off for you in terms of developing stronger relationships among people. A battle buddy may also recognize the early signs of someone in trouble before things get worse. I plan to cover more on how to implement a “battle buddy” system in our next blog.
This blog is based on my eBook “Who Saw This Coming?” You can get a free downloadable copy of the entire eBook here.
Enjoy the Journey!
Did you find this blog post beneficial? If so, please consider sharing it with your audience using one of the choices below. It’ll just take a second, but could improve someone’s work habits for a long time to come.