24 October 2011 0 Comments

Secure Your Own Mask

You hear the words every time you board a commercial airplane:

   If there is loss in cabin pressure, oxygen masks will appear…

        …secure your own mask before assisting others.

When I started travelling with my young children, those words became more relevant – and alarming! My overpowering instinct is to protect my kids first. Does the airline really expect me to leave my children gasping for breath while I save my own skin?

Yet, when I take time to think about it, the worst scenario would be my children gasping for breath while I lie there unconscious because I didn’t get my mask on. By securing my mask first, I help ensure that I am able to help my kids.

Leaders, sometimes revel in self-sacrifice.

Our instincts tell us that long hours, full calendars,

and few personal boundaries are signs of a great leader.

But when we take time to think about it,

A “passed out” leader is useless.

Caring for oneself can be difficult, especially for leaders committed to serving others.  It seems counterintuitive. It appears selfish.

But think about it: Leaders who nurture themselves are equipped to give their best. They are less likely to burn out.  And if their objective is to serve others (not to use them for self gain) they can have a sustained legacy of effective leadership.

Do you want to be the best leader you can be?  Make time in your schedule for “self care.” Secure your own mask before assisting others.

What About You?

  • Have you ever been so busy caring for others that you found yourself “short of breath?”  
  • What are some concrete ways that you practice “self care” while caring for those you lead?

Leave a Reply and share your experience.

 At ENTERCHANGE we challenge leaders to build upon their personal strengths.  Contact Us so we can help custom fit your mask.

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