In today’s busy manufacturing world, leaders are feeling more stressed and stretched-thin than ever, as they deal with the staggering expectations and everyday demands on their time, energy, and attention. In this episode on how leaders can discover productive, healthy ways to free up their time and energy, I’m joined by author and leadership development coach Sara Canaday. Sara uses her years of corporate experience to advocate for leaders and help them grow the skills they need to strengthen their leadership skills, enhance their relationships, and thrive in today’s complex, competitive climate. In this episode, she talks about why leaders often end up feeling burnt-out, plus shares some unique practices organizations can use to best support their leaders.
2:16 – Leaders are meant to ignite fires, not constantly put them out. If you’re a leader who finds yourself constantly acting as a firefighter, it’s time to reconnect with the meaning of your role.
3:22 – We’re conditioned from a young age to be productive and to feel like we’re only valuable if we’re doing something, which impacts the way we lead and show up in the workplace
4:40 – Even when you’re doing nothing, your mind is still very productive, which is why it’s important to take a strategic pause to declutter your mind, find more clarity, and make better decisions and better serve your team
7:43 – Deep discovery and creative problem-solving can’t fully happen when we’re multitasking
8:26 – It can be helpful to reach out to others and let them add structure to your thinking and gain a broader prospective
9:40 – You have more control and agency over your own time than you think you do
10:00 – To gain more control over your time, dig deeper into your schedule and challenge yourself to think about what is the most important. For example, you could start skipping meetings that you don’t really need to be at, or send someone else to takes notes for you.
10:25 – Instead of just thinking about your to-do list, consider starting a list of things you can stop doing or delegate to someone else on your team
10:48 – As a leader, you have an obligation to think about how your can use your time in a way that best serves your team and your clients
11:43 – A change in scenery, like a stop at a coffeeshop on your way to your plant, is a great way to shift your mindset and build productive new habits
13:50 – Leaders should be responsive, but they also have to clearly show their priorities to themselves and the rest of their organization
15:05 – Leaders deal with exponential and even sometimes unrealistic expectations, especially when it comes to solving problems and facilizing productive conversations about important issues like social justice and employee mental health
16:08 – Leaders are doers and drivers, but they are also human beings and there’s only so much they can do
16:30 – There are many things team and organizations can do to support their leaders, including thinking about the most important priorities or even hiring someone to help with some of the leader’s other tasks
17:39 – Instead of impressing others, spend more time on thinking about what they really need to feel support and healthy in their role
20:00 – Shifting your mindset starts with putting aside your own biases and anything else that is clouding your judgment
20:43 – After putting aside your assumptions, spend more time discovering new, time-saving solutions by staying curious and seeking out productive, unbiased conversations with others
22:43 – If you’re not sure about something, don’t be afraid to just ask
23:00 – It takes courage to ask for what you need, but it’s important to find ways to protect your time and energy
23:42 – Leaders deserve a better experience, and a good experience can create a domino effect that positively impacts the rest of their team
Connect with Sara Canaday
Sara’s LinkedIn Learning courses