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The importance of boundaries in leadership (and life)

first_imgOn a recent Wednesday night, I was attending a parent association meeting at my children’s school to talk about upcoming events. These meetings have historically run long; sometimes going until 9:30 p.m. or later. I go to bed at 9:30 on weeknights, so the day after these meetings, I always wake up feeling tired and sluggish. Before long, these meetings were negatively impacting my week. I realized I have a choice in this situation—I could continue staying until the meeting ends and feel tired and frustrated each time, or I could come up with a better solution that worked for me. So instead of feeling obligated to stay until the end of the meeting, I created a boundary: for weeknight meetings, I would leave by 8:30 p.m. No exceptions. I let the president of the parent association know ahead of time, and at the next meeting, I collected my things at 8:30, said goodbye, and headed home.  Boundaries are an essential part of leadership. Without boundaries, our days become a haze of activities without any focus. We end up feeling busy all day without accomplishing anything of value.Are there any boundaries you need to create in your life?I like to think of it this way:Boundaries create structureStructure creates freedomBoundaries allow you to focus and work at your peak. The purpose of boundaries is to protect your time and energy so you can work at your best. So you can be your best. Below are some examples of leadership boundaries that can help protect your time and energy:Closing your door to work on an important projectTelling your employees you are not available for the next two hours so you can work on a projectTaking a lunch break every day to give your brain a restNot accepting a meeting request without an agendaProtecting the first half hour of your workday to get focused and review your priorities for the dayLeaving the office no later than 6:00 each dayNot checking email on weekendsNot working at all on vacation (this is a boundary I am implementing in a couple weeks!)When you don’t have boundaries, everyone else’s emergencies become your emergencies. You find yourself reacting to everyone else instead of focusing on what is important to you and your success. Below are some of the personal and work boundaries I’ve put into place to protect my time and energy:Prioritize my to do list and focus on two high priority activities a daySchedule productivity sprints (blocks of time in my calendar) to focus on one thing at time (typically these sprints are between one and two hours each)Close my email and put my phone out of sight when I am doing a productivity sprintGo to bed by 9:30 p.m. on weeknightsNo weeknight meetings after 8:30 No alcohol on weeknightsNo work after 6:00 p.m.Phone stays in the kitchen at night (not in the bedroom)Maximum of one alcoholic beverage at a dinner or event (unless it’s a really long event like a wedding, where I allow myself two glasses)You may be thinking; does she have any fun? Yes, I do. What these boundaries do is ensure that my energy is at its peak. I facilitate leadership programs and speak in front of people at least three times a week, and feeling rested, energized, and at the top of my game is vitally important for my business and the results my clients get. Having a glass of wine on a Tuesday night may not seem like a big deal, but it results in me not sleeping as well that night and feeling groggy in the morning, which undermines my performance. That boundary is a structure I use to keep myself at my peak. Having structures also cuts down on the decisions you have to make, which frees up mental space and energy. As humans, we make thousands of decisions every day—everything from what to wear to who to hire. Having boundaries and structures in place keeps you from having to make simple decisions that drain your energy. Some CEOs create structures to simplify their lives as much as possible. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, and Don Tyson, former CEO of Tyson Foods, wear the same outfit every day, as did the late Steve Jobs. This is one less choice they need to make each day. An important part of leadership is being able to keep yourself—and your team—focused. In today’s world, it’s challenging to keep your mind focused on what’s important. Without boundaries, you end up wasting your hours and ultimately your days. Developing boundaries creates the structures you need to keep your leadership—and your life—on track. 31SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Laurie Maddalena Laurie Maddalena is a dynamic and engaging keynote speaker and leadership consultant. She writes a monthly online column for next generation leaders for CUES and has published articles in Credit … Web: www.envisionexcellence.net Detailslast_img read more

Sanchez snatches win for Gunners

first_img It was then the turn of Saints to panic as Cazorla opened up their defence only for Oxlade-Chamberlain to direct his shot straight at Forster. A mix-up at the near post created the narrowest of openings for Welbeck but his backheel struck the side-netting one more. Forster plucked a floating free-kick by Cazorla out of the air as Arsenal probed once more against opponents they were finding difficult to break down. Cazorla, Sanchez and Oxlade-chamberlain dazzled on approach into the area, but the final pass was repeatedly blocked, while at the other end Pelle was Saints’ main troublemaker. The strength of Victor Wanyama dispossessed Sanchez on the halfway line and the Kenyan midfielder had the wits to find Pelle, who tested Forster from 25 yards out. Only Forster’s fingertip save of a deflected header by Welbeck kept the ball out of the net as play swept to the other end. Southampton made the brighter start to the second half as Pelle saw a shot blocked by Laurent Koscielny before Shane Long butchered a great chance after Arsenal had opened up on the counter. Giroud, who had been replaced by Oxlade-Chamberlain in the starting line-up, stepped off the bench as Wenger sought to ignite his team and among the Frenchman’s first touches was one to force a save by Forster. Arsenal now had discovered some energy and they fashioned another chance with Sanchez picking out Welbeck only for the alert Forster to intervene once more. The draw looked to be within Saints’ grasp, only for Alderweireld’s exit to leave them exposed with Sanchez landing the killer blow. Press Association Alexis Sanchez fired Arsenal to a late 1-0 victory over Southampton at the Emirates Stadium to narrow the gap on the Barclays Premier League top four to two points. Few chances fell at either end in an uninspiring first half that did little to alleviate the chill in north London with Saints striker Graziano Pelle guilty of one glaring miss from close range. Southampton were livelier after the interval, attacking with greater intent than their strangely subdued opponents, whose quest to narrow the gap on the top four lacked urgency on a night of high frustration for home supporters. The 65th-minute arrival of Olivier Giroud lifted Arsenal, although the substitution was not without controversy as Arsene Wenger’s decision to sacrifice the lively Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was met with boos. Santi Cazorla had endured an error-prone night, but it was Oxlade-Chamberlain who made way in a performance that will only provide further ammunition to critics who believe the club is stagnating under Wenger. Giroud was denied with three minutes to go after Southampton keeper Fraser Foster palmed his header to safety, but seconds later Sanchez plundered the winner as Saints cracked under the pressure. Arsenal had the first chance as a perfectly-weighted pass from Cazorla sent Danny Welbeck goalbound but the England marksman could only find the side-netting from a tight angle. Southampton were then left wondering how they had failed to take the lead when Pelle blasted a close-range shot over the crossbar after combining with Steven Davis on the edge of the area. Arsenal were playing with fire as Nacho Monreal and Mathieu Flamini combined to set up a panicky back-pass that left Emiliano Martinez with little margin for error as he cleared. Sanchez drilled home Aaron Ramsey’s pass in the 88th minute following a frantic passage of play with the Gunners taking full advantage of Saints having been reduced to 10 men. When Toby Alderweireld went off injured in the last 10 minutes, Southampton had already made all three permitted substitutions and as they became stretched Arsenal pounced. last_img read more

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