Finish 2022 Strong: The Leader’s “Survive & Thrive” Guide

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: With two months to go until 2022 swings into a bigger digit, there is a lot going on. We’re feeling stressed. We’re feeling stretched. We’re feeling tired. We’re all guilty of being a little testy; most of us are extremely reliant on caffeine…and if anyone dare ask us to take anything more on this side of December, we are, in a word: incredulous! The only thing we’re all ready for and enthusiastic about is a holiday. Yet, the leader’s reality looms: targets to hit, business to chase, bonuses to debate, goals to score and year-end functions to plan. The work year is pretty much over, yet we feel as though the mountain has grown larger.

Kerry Morris, CEO of South African recruitment specialist, The Tower Group, shares her top 3 tips to finishing the year on top — as a boss, and as a human being.

#1. Take A Break, Now.

“These days, money is no longer the most motivating element at work. Time matters more,” says Morris. “For both leaders and employees, having the luxury of time off — especially at a period when we feel we need it most — is not only motivating, energising and appreciated but also helps to take the sting out of the end-of-year sprint. A last quarter break makes us all better people along the way!”

For you:

  • There’s no need to wait for December holidays: prioritise a short break now. This can mean taking a Friday off and leaving behind the city for a bit.
    • At this critical time of the year, leading your team becomes a balancing act of keeping your energy high whilst also aiming to achieve the tick-off list. Time off will free up your headspace for that fierce focus you’ll need towards the finish line.

For your team:

  • Incentivise your staff by giving them time off before the end of the year. This can be in the form of half days or a long weekend and it goes a long way to avoid ‘Tired Leave’ as well as ‘Quiet Quitting’; something we are seeing a lot of owing to staff feeling tired, uninspired and demotivated.
    • Make Fridays a meeting-free day. This helps teams stay on top of their admin and workload so they can finish off their current job load effectively and start new projects with a fresh spin.

#2. Super-Self Care

“As a leader and as a human, you simply can’t give from an empty tank,” says Morris. “My golden rule when it comes to digging deep and finishing strong is making sure you are taking really good care of yourself. This will look different for everybody.”

For you:

  • Make extra time for the things that make you feel alive. 
    • Get enough sleep
    • Use your weekends to refuel and restore your energy tank – so that you can approach the new week with the clarity and confidence required to make solid decisions.

For your team:

  • Personal and professional struggles run rife this time of year. Communication and support go a very long way. Encourage your staff to confide in you or their manager or someone they can trust to share where they’re at emotionally and mentally. Letting them know that help is always near will keep the safety factor high in your organisation, lessening anxiety in order to inspire continued performance.  
    • Schedule a fun activity — such as a hike, an early-morning yoga class, an afternoon beach session or simply a healthy breakfast together as a team. This draws your team’s attention to the external life factors that matter, and will add to their restoration practice between the pressure points of year-end.

#3. Dig into your Purpose

“As leaders, we show up at 6:30am on purpose — not for anyone else but for ourselves,” says Morris. “We show up because we’re here for a reason. Being a leader is not only part of our purpose but also our gift.”

For You:

  • When the going gets tough, remind yourself of your purpose as a leader – and the pivotal role you play in the lives of your teams, as well as in your company. Your team looks to you for direction; embrace this is a purpose and a gift of leadership; an area where you too can shine, can inspire and can guide others towards their fulfilled path, no matter the time of year. 

For your team:

  • Host a reflective session every week; an inspiration hour that offers insights into the meaning of success or engage in stories about triumphs and failure or invite a speaker to motivate and encourage new thinking. Inspired sessions like these bring about change, internally and externally amongst teams and companies. Have your teams reflect and take away their own learnings and feelings, which ultimately serve as reminder of their capabilities, and their purpose.  
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