For the last twelve days, I’ve been on a medication called Prednisone. For the first time in my life, I got poison ivy – bad – and the doctor gave me Prednisone to help my body fight it. I’d never taken this medicine before, and boy, did it knock me for a loop. It significantly affected my sleep cycle; some nights I was up till after 5 a.m. and then got up for work the next morning. It was not pretty.
Sleep is something I take for granted. Most nights, I put my head on the pillow and I go right out. But for the last few weeks, I gained a new and much greater appreciation for this gift.
As I’ve reflected on this, let me offer you 3 keys I’ve found to good leadership decisions.
When I was sleeping 2-3 hours a night, night after night, I found my head getting fuzzy and my decision-making getting more difficult. I also found my patience getting shorter and my RPMs revving FAR too high. All of that will contribute to poor leadership decisions. I had to ask Charlotte and my team more than once for forgiveness and patience during this time. Without sufficient rest, I found my mental capacity and clarity badly affected. This is not just true for me. Leaders, if you want to lead with all diligence, proper rest is not negotiable.
When God gave Moses the Ten Commandments, the one that has the most explanation is the fourth – the one involving rest. Perry Noble has said it well: “The Bible calls those who will not work lazy. The Bible calls those who will not rest disobedient.”
I’ve been falling down on this one lately, but I’m newly challenged and newly inspired to step it up. When I’m exercising 3-4 times a week, I feel SO much better. For me, this is running, but however you exercise, do it. We tend to compartmentalize our lives and think that one area doesn’t affect another – that’s patently and demonstrably false. We are integrated individuals – every part affects every other part. My physical health WILL have impact on my emotional and spiritual health. I forget that to my peril. Leaders, we have to set the pace on this. Don’t think that neglecting this won’t affect your leadership – it absolutely will. When your physical health is on track, you’ll find yourself making better leadership decisions. I know I do.
3) Proper nutrition
When I’m eating right, I know it. When I’m not eating right, I know it. It’s easy to come up with reasons and rationalize it – I can do it with the best of them! Things like “I’ve been busy,” “life’s too hectic right now to plan my meals out/cook/eat right,” etc. Here’s what I know – no one walks up to me and shoves food in my mouth. I choose what I will eat. Do I want my body to be performing optimally? Do I want my mind to be fueled to make the best leadership decisions I’m capable of? Then I need to make sure that I’m putting the proper fuel in it.
You can go crazy with any of these. What I’m talking about is disciplined living, choosing to make the wise choices in these three areas so that we can live well and lead with all diligence. I’m committing to work harder on all three of these. As leaders, we set the example, and I want to lead well.
What keys would you add to the list above?