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December 14, 2017
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Why Leaders (and Others) Need Renewal

renewalRenewal is on my mind for a reason. This weekend my faith community celebrated its 300th anniversary. One of the special events held to commemorate this milestone was a commissioned drama written and directed by Ted Swartz of Ted & Company.

Titled, “These Are My People: Reflections of Salford at 300,” it used humor, music, and poignant stories to capture the history of our church. We were reminded of a strong faith heritage that has been tested by war, social change, technology, and even family dynamics.

As we age, our physical bodies require more regeneration than when we were younger. For example, I retire to bed earlier so I can maintain my 5 AM walking ritual. More frequent breaks are needed during the workday to keep me fresh and alert.

While leaders should pay attention to how well we care for our physical needs, it’s also important for us to renew our hearts and minds. The stresses of work and family commitments can take their toll. It’s easy for life and work to become unbalanced. We can’t serve others well if our emotional tank is empty.

Renewal can take many forms and there isn’t one approach that is best for everyone. Here are some renewal tips for leaders (and others) to consider:

  • Take better care of your body. This may seem obvious, but proper nutrition and regular exercise is a proven form of renewal. As little as 30 minutes a day of vigorous walking or other physical activity can make a difference in how you feel.
  • Sharpen your skills. Even seasoned and competent leaders will benefit from learning something new. Challenge yourself to read more books, listen to podcasts, attend seminars, and enroll in webinar courses.
  • Find a coach or mentor. Sometimes leaders get stuck in their current situations. If things are going well, it’s easy to become complacent. When business declines, it’s even easier to blame others or withdraw. Everyone can benefit from a conversation and accountability partner.
  • Embrace change. Leaders who approach change as a positive opportunity can be transformed by the new things they will learn and the old habits they will discard. An eagle must shed its old feathers each year if its wings are to remain strong and vibrant.

Many of my older friends continue to amaze me with their resiliency and gracious approach to aging. Even as their bodies and minds decline they are frequently able to adapt and thrive.

If your leadership has been tested and you’re feeling weary or stuck, don’t despair. Renewal can happen whether you are a 300-years old faith community or a successful business leader or entrepreneur. It turns out that history and hope make a powerful pair.

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