When I bring to mind an image of a high-performing leader who is thriving I see them in the middle of a huge, connected network. A network of support, influence and impact. In my minds eye I see this network pulsing with light and activity. A web of mutually beneficial connection.
No one leads in isolation.
No one thrives in isolation.
And yet, how much time do we really give to building that powerful network of connection. The connections that support us and cheer us on. The connections that stretch us and help us to think differently. The connections that we can lean on. The connections that inspire us. The connections that uplift us. The connections that champion us. The connections that we champion. The connections that we support. The connections that lean on us.
A mutually beneficial web.
Are you focussing on building, nurturing and honouring that network?
Where is your time being pulled away from this?
Where is your focus?
If you are not spending any time consciously building a network that pulses with life and builds you up you are limiting your leadership impact. I wholeheartedly believe this.
It is so easy for us to become isolated. Especially when we are in our home offices in back-to-back Teams calls.
Ignoring our need for connection outside of the day-to-day doing is a fast track to burnout. It ignores basic human needs.
Connection to others.
Connection to ourselves.
Connection to nature.
When I think back to the time I was dancing with burnout that disconnection is one of the strongest feelings I remember. I was busy in meetings every day, I was busy at home looking after my young family, I was busy in my role as Chair of Governors at my children’s school. I was speaking to people all day every day. And I felt more disconnected from myself, my family and the world than I had ever felt before. It made me less effective. It made me less tolerant. It made me less happy.
I now notice that feeling as a red flag that I am neglecting one of the most important elements of a thriving, impact driven life. A red flag that I have prioritised busy over connected. And I take immediate action.
That might look like getting outside and connecting with nature. It might look like arranging some time with friends or peers. It might look like arranging a coaching call for myself. It might look like playing a game with my kids. It might look like going to a conference. It might look like a cup of tea with a good friend. Whatever it looks like the most important thing is that I prioritise it. I don’t see it as a nice to have. It’s an essential element of my ability to deliver impact and thrive.
We are at the centre of a web. And when we nurture and strengthen that web the ripple effect of our impact is greater. When we nurture and strengthen that web we are stronger because we are supported. When we nurture and strengthen that web we are more able to support those around us.
In order to deliver impact and thrive we must make time for connection.
We cannot do it alone.
Where are you forgoing opportunities to connect because you are too busy?
What are you missing out on because you are not prioritising building new connections or nurturing long-standing ones?
What are you making more important that building that strong web that’s pulsing with light and activity?
What would change if you made time for this?
What could be possible?