It’s a Wonderful Leadership Life!

by  Jane Perdue  |  Leadership Development

Tis the season for gift-giving! Have you selected one for yourself? Something special that you’ve needed or wanted for a long time? Something that will help you be at your leadership best in 2011? If you’re still searching, maybe there’s something on this list that’s just right for you!

An hour a week of self-care. Take time to laugh, play, learn, read, dance, sing, exercise or may be even do nothing. Pay attention to your feelings and show your strength by reaching out for support when you need a boost. Nurture yourself so you can nurture others.

Dedicated reflection time. Carve out a few minutes at the end of the day to ponder, appreciate and feel gratitude for what went well and what you learned. Let this upbeat contemplation time shape your mental script for the next day.

A daily dose of self-appreciation. Value all the good things you are, rather than fixating on what you aren’t. Rejoice in your strengths, understand your weaknesses and be gentle with yourself.

Heartbeats in the spreadsheets for those whom you lead. Practice accountability and expect solid performance, to be sure; but liberally sprinkle genuine caring, sharing and heartfelt laughter, too.

An on/off switch for your inner critic. Use what the dude’s got to say as input, not as the final end-all or be-all. Be satisfied with excellence (it can happen) and don’t drive yourself crazy chasing perfection (it won’t happen).

A five-minute timer for daily connecting. Make a call, send an email, walk down the hall and chat with a colleague, comment on a blog, talk to the stranger in line behind you at the coffee shop, tell someone they’ve done a good job. Connections build relationships, and relationships are the currency of the workplace, and the world.

A rollicking belly laugh once a week and daily smiles. Neither costs a dime, yet what an investment in feeding your soul…and that of others.

Do you have something else on your list?  Go for it, you deserve it!

What’s Next? Please leave a comment below to join the conversation…

About The Author

Articles By jane-perdue
Jane is a leadership futurist and well-mannered maverick who challenges stereotypes, sacred cows, gender bias & how we think about power. She loves chocolate, TED, writing, kindness, paradox and shoes.  »  View Profile

What People Are Saying

Tristan Bishop  |  23 Dec 2010  |  Reply

Thank you Jane!

I appreciate the reminder. I’ll have the “rollicking belly laugh” please. :) I’m off to begin chuckling now!

Wishing you and yours a Merry Christmas!


Jane Perdue  |  24 Dec 2010  |  Reply

Tristan —

Hope you enjoyed that rollicking belly laugh…and all the others you’ll enjoy next year! Happy holidays to you and yours.

With a smile,


William Powell  |  23 Dec 2010  |  Reply

What a great Christmas list Jane! I personally recommend all of the above. Collectively there may be a 2-3 hour/week commitment to do all of those things you mentioned. I bet finding that little bit of extra time each week wouldn’t be that difficult at all. Most of us have more fat in our calendar than we care to admit.

Thanks for the sorely needed reminder and have a smashing Christmas!


Jane Perdue  |  24 Dec 2010  |  Reply

William –

I’m thinking each of us deserve, need and probably would cherish 2 to 3 hours a week of self-care and connecting with others. And who knows, there might be more smiles and more productivity at work to boot!

Happy holidays to you and yours!



@HeatherEColeman  |  23 Dec 2010  |  Reply

What a wonderful post, Jane. I love that your ‘gifts’ to ourselves don’t cost a thing. :) Thank you for inspiring me just before the holidays!

@Heather Coleman-Voss

Jane Perdue  |  24 Dec 2010  |  Reply

Happy holidays, Heather!

It’s been my experience that many times the low-cost or no-cost gift is the one that comes with the most heart. Enjoy the holidays!

With a smile,


Mike Henry  |  23 Dec 2010  |  Reply

Jane, thanks for the great reminder. I’m giving my inner critic some time off, maybe even an extended leave!


Jane Perdue  |  24 Dec 2010  |  Reply

Mike —

Happy holidays to you and yours. Big thanks for the year-round gift of Lead Change that you’ve given us!

With happy holidays smiles and a hug,


p.s. extended leave is a good place for those inner critics!

Bhanu  |  28 Dec 2010  |  Reply

Great post !! Thanks for making me aware that I need to think for myself too :-)

Happy holidays


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