Want a guaranteed return on investment? Invest in YOU!

As leaders, we tend to think that if we’re not in the office that work won’t get done or that even if it does that it won’t be done right.  We’re in front, on-the-ball, and never stop…until we can no longer function due to our frantic pace.  I’ve been there – working way too many hours, travelling constantly, not exercising, not getting enough sleep all with zero social life.  That’s no way to live (and you won’t live long if you try to keep that up!).  In order to be at your best for your family, your team and those you’re trying to reach you must invest in yourself.


Here’s my version of great investment tips – put these into practice for incredible returns:

1. Refresh: Take a vacation.  Whether it’s simply a long weekend “staycation” or a two-week stay at an exotic locale, you have to get away from the everyday hustle and bustle to truly relax.  Just remember to put the phone down (it has an off button for a reason, you know).  Okay, you can check it occasionally but limit your time spent responding to emails or calls as much as possible.

2. Think:  Take time to just sit still (I know, that’s hard!) and think.  Reflect on where you’re at in comparison with your goals.  Think about your family, staff, volunteers, etc. Where do you want to take yourself and your team?  How will you get there?  What do you need to do or to learn?  Write down your thoughts and plan any needed adjustments.

3. Learn:  Attend conferences, seminars, read books, read blogs, and listen to podcasts.  The best leaders are life-long learners so carve out time to develop you.

4.  Health:  Eat nutritious food (at least most of the time), exercise, drink lots of water, and get plenty of sleep.  You’ll have more energy and stamina to accomplish all those big goals.

5. Have fun:  Play with your kids, go out for a round of golf on a sunny day, hang out with friends, go on a date night with other couples, etc.  Do something that doesn’t require any deep thought – just relax and savor the moment.

You have a lot on your plate and since your work involves serving people, you may feel like you’re letting them down if you get away for even a short while. Remember: the world can get along just fine while you take a break (we’re not keeping the earth spinning or anything here…).  It’ll still be there when you get back and you’ll be better equipped to tackle the latest challenges when you’re refreshed.  Invest in yourself – the returns will benefit you and those you serve.