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The Power of Unplugging: Why Leaders Need to Recharge Their Social Battery

For the past month, I've been on a rollercoaster ride of emotional highs and lows starting with the heartbreaking loss of our dog, Boss. Boss was the heart of this family. Dog lovers will understand this all too well. They truly become your children as you're feeding them, keeping up with vet visits, affirming them, and giving them the love they deserve. Even when they tear up your couch, make a mess, eat what's not theirs, or disturb you while you're trying to do nothing, you love them immensely. Dealing with the loss of Boss and moving through what we feel has been challenging for us all. Yes, I'm enjoying special outside moments but inside, I'm still grieving. I miss him and always will.

Then there's the balance of business and life. Here's why I have to unplug.

In this world, where there is always something to do, leadership increasingly calls for endless interactions and commitments. The importance of recharging your social battery can't be overstated—especially for women leaders. Leadership demands a high level of social engagement, whether it's negotiating with business partners, networking, team management, or public speaking. If you're dealing with people, you're engaging socially. Plus, the overlapping responsibilities at home and the workplace can kick your stress levels into overdrive and drain energy. For women in leadership roles, managing the harmony of it all and finding time to recharge is not just essential; it's imperative for sustained success and well-being.

Why do I talk so much about unplugging to reset or recharge? When we make this a priority in our lives, we can get back to a place that fuels our interactions, creativity, and emotional engagement. Each task, conversation, and decision sips from our energy reserve. Over time, without a moment to breathe or to simply be, we find this wellspring running dry. And if dry, whose cup can you fill? That's why you need this for you first and then pour from the overflow.

"Before you are a leader, success is all about growing yourself. When you become a leader, success is all about growing others." - Jack Welch

The concept of a 'social battery' refers to the amount of energy we have available for social interactions. Just like a battery, social energy can be consumed and depleted. Scheduling a recharge to function optimally again is a must. I've never experience a battery-operated toy operating at its best on a battery that's dying. I'm just saying.

Listen, embracing the quiet, the stillness, and giving ourselves permission to simply be, amplifies our strength. It transforms the way we lead, grounding us in empathy, resilience, and a profound capacity to inspire others and be inspired. In this space of renewal, we find the courage to show up wholly, to lead with vulnerability and authenticity, and to empower not just ourselves but those we guide.

Failing to recharge our social batteries can leave us feeling exhausted, less productive, and can potentially lead to burnout—a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Burnout can not only hinder our ability to lead effectively but can also impact our personal lives.

So, how do you get this recharge party started? Start by focusing on the small moments that bring you joy and the pauses between the busyness. Start with re-reading a book you love, listening to music that moves you, getting out in nature to get grounded or sharing some laughs with a friend. Keep it simple and practical for peace.

But remember, recharging isn’t just about finding peace—it’s about reclaiming your power. It’s an act of self-love and empowerment, a testament to acknowledging your worth and potential. It's a opportunity for you to fill your cup so you can continue to inspire, lead, and be well.

How do you plan to recharge this week? When you unplug, what do you plan to do to recharge or refuel your well-being or creativity?


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