Renewing Your Passion for Leadership

Provost Blog


Renewing Your Passion for Leadership

May 29, 2012

There are times in my leadership life when I sense I am nearing the edge.  My spirit is screaming out stop, slow down, “take a break.”  In fact when I become overwhelmed with the serious challenges our organization is facing, I begin to lose my joy, confidence, and peace.  When I get tired, I don’t think as well and I begin to lose the optimism I usually carry.  It is at these moments I know I need to take time to renew my passion for leadership.

But, how do you renew your passion for leadership when you face day-to-day demands?  I propose four simple ways to experience renewal which will ultimately lead to a new level of invigoration about the future success of your organization.

Four Ways to Renew Your Passion for Leadership

  1. Listen to encouraging words from others.
    • People will encourage you if you listen.  Take time to thank them for their kind words. The act of thanking a colleague or friend who has offered encouragement acknowledges the person and allows you to feel “thanked and recognized.”
    • People will give you signals about your giftedness if you listen.  Hearing someone affirm one of your gifts is encouraging, but it is also a reminder to us that we “do not do have to do everything” but we must learn to stick to what we do best.
    • Take time after a busy day to reflect about encouraging words you have received from others that affirm your gifts and strengths.
  2. Set aside uninterrupted time for reflection.
    • Commit time in your calendar for times of reflection.
    • Find your own “quiet place” where you can “get away” and be disconnected from the hustle and bustle and busy pace of life.

3.    Re-commit to lead from your strength zone.

  • In times of challenges and heavy workload it is an easy and natural inclination to simply “work harder” which really means you’ll be less effective and will eventually wear out.
  • Take time to focus on your giftedness and strengths.  Look for ways to apply your strengths in various situations.
  • Performance will actually improve when you operate in your strength zone.

4.    Remember, it’s not about you.

    • It is easy to think that the “entire burden” rests on you as a leader, when in reality each of us has a distinctive role to play as a part of a greater team.
    • Remember that your unique gifts and talents are a complement to a total team effort.
    • It is important to view your leadership from a place of humility recognizing all things urgent and challenging do not fail or succeed based on your abilities.  Others can solve problems and win the day.
    • If you are truly operating in your strength zone, you’ll realize it takes a diverse group of individuals with a wide range of gifts to accomplish a great mission and vision.