Pitstop - Celebrate
He plonked his bag down on the hallway floor, kicked his shoes off, shuffled into the lounge and sank into the chair. It had been a tough 6 months and this was the start of his first break in that time. He was exhausted and he felt his eye lids dropping already. He couldn’t resist. Exhaustion crashed him into sleep.
Sound familiar? Many leaders drive their lives at 90mph and then crash exhausted. Overpacking their day, not planning in regular refuel times and then either the body or mind crashes exhausted. Our pitstop times, either the brief but regular moments planned into your day or week, or the longer recharge weekends or weeks off, need physical rest as part of them. That way we can reduce the chance of the physical or mental crash. But another important, but often forgotten, aspect of our pitstop, needs to be that of celebration.
Celebration in your pitstop is about review, reflect and recognition.
Review - Review where did you start from and what steps have been made
Reflect – Reflect on the challenges that have been overcome, the progress made
Recognition – Give yourself recognition and celebrate the achievements
Celebration is an important process to help you and your vision refuel.
Celebrate to remind
As leaders we will have a vision for what we are leading. We work hard at it, but one of the dangers of not stopping sometimes to review the progress is that we can look ahead at all that is still to be accomplished, but forget where we have come from. Taking time each week, each month, each year to review and to celebrate the journey so far is an important reminder of the vision you have and what has been achieved.
Celebrate to focus
As we spend time reviewing and reflecting, it reminds us of our purpose and what we are trying to achieve. This is a great pitstop for the vision. It allows us time to re-focus on the purpose and aims. It allows us to consider what has been frustrating the vision or been unhelpful.
Celebrate to aid planning
As we celebrate what has worked, it allows us to consider focusing the next steps in areas that work. As we review the clients in coaching and training that have made the greatest gains, we consider what we used to help them and develop that to use it further. As we consider the contacts that helped us grow the business, we examine what works in our relationship and plan that into the next year for them and others.
When we are stressed, we release the hormone cortisol. Too much Cortisol can impact on our ability to problem solve and think creatively. When we celebrate and practise the art of thankfulness, this promotes the release of a hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEA-S). * The effect of this hormone, counteracts the stress hormone Cortisol. With lower cortisol, this then enables us to think more creatively and problem solve as the negative impact of cortisol is reduced. So, celebration, thinking about what has worked well, helps clear the head to think creatively about the way ahead.
As you find time for a pitstop, it is important to get physical rest. But it is equally energising to plan in some time to celebrate. The impact can be stress reducing, vision reminding, an encouragement to press forward and energising.
Everyday Leader is here to inspire and equip you. If you would like to explore the power of review, reflection and recognition and celebrating, you may benefit from coaching with us. Do let us know if we can be of help to you by contacting us at firstname.lastname@example.org
* Footnote. In 2007, R. A. Emmons released his book Thanks! How the new science of gratitude can make you happier. This was based on the original study by Emmons, R. A. & McCullough, M. E. in 2003, entitled Counting blessings versus burdens: An experimental investigation of gratitude and subjective well-being in daily life, Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 84: 377-89. In this study, they found that thankfulness, releases a hormone called dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S). The effect of this hormone, counteracted the stress hormone Cortisol. With lower cortisol, this then enables us to think more creatively and problem solve as the negative impact of cortisol is reduced.