Do you keep being given leadership lessons to learn? Do the same ones keep coming back? That’s definitely the case for me. This is obviously a leadership principle I need to keep learning.

I hurt my back some time back in March. It’s a familiar story: work hard until things start to get sketchy, but keep pushing through to get one more thing done.

I was running, going to the gym, doing group fitness classes, doing personal training, and started Aikido lessons. Along with all the new things I am doing in my business (like launching new events, writing a novel, joining two new learning programs…)

Well, I guess I was overdoing it.

Actually, I was UNDERDOING one important thing.

I was underdoing recovery.

I’ve discovered that one can be incredibly productive and invested in multiple projects. As long as there is down time, recuperation, and rest.

Ahh, yes. That old lesson again.

Rest and recovery is a timeless leadership principle we cannot ignore

It turns out we can ignore recovery. Until the body reaches out and decides to give the lesson we are ignoring.

I’ve been given many lessons in the forms of: chronic chest infections, cancer, adrenal fatigue, burst eardrum, and now a painful back.

I’m getting it now. We are limitless if we function within some limits.

Effort needs rest to drive hard effort.

Rest is more than a tactic; it’s a fundamental leadership responsibility

We are not setting a good example by burning the candle at both ends and setting a frenetic pace. No one will be as energised as us, and others are already scrambling to keep up. When we break down as a result of our frenetic pace and lack of rest, then we create a crash for others too.

So how am I tackling this recurring lesson? By sharing publicly for accountability. By putting in rest periods throughout my day for stretching. By considering carefully my commitments and calendar before saying yes to every fun shiny opportunity. Simple is good. Focus is good. By doing less, I can do more.

What lessons do you keep learning? Where do you push your mind and body past its limits? How might you change your approach?