Leadership is a dance. While moving cohesively as a part of a team, the leader must influence each member toward a specific pattern or behavior. It requires internal strength to maintain oneself in a manner that inspires mimicry, and external strength to encourage, evaluate, and exhort others. This expenditure of internal and external energy is exhausting. Women, often in response to their nurturing instinct, can fall into a pattern of expending their energies without replenishment.
Great leadership requires great expenditure of energy.
Author and leadership expert Karima Mariama-Arthurwrites in her book, Poised For Excellence:Fundamental Principles of Effective Leadership in the Boardroom and Beyond, “the most effective leaders ensure their lives do not resemble the bleakness of zero-sum games.” Without any stored energy, all movement, all work, all success ceases. Leaders cannot continue if we are all work and no rest; all go and no stopping. There is an increased focus in leadership and management training on self-care and wellness. Beyond health and wholeness, finding ‘white space’ triggers a moment where your potential energy is retrieved and harnessed in a way that allows it to transform into usable power.
You’ve no doubt witnessed this transition. It exists in the moment just before the runner bursts into the first step, the drawing in of breath immediately before the singer belts the note. The opening of fire-sparked eyes after a meditative period. It’s the magic moment when your next plan or idea crosses a threshold and spreads like a wildfire. We can view this tipping point as the outburst or overflow of moving energy in response to its proactive and engaged storage (this is why self-care is restorative).
Your success and that of your team requires a selfish commitment to your mental and spiritual health.
I had the great pleasure of hearing therapist and coach Charryse Johnsonpresent at an ASCEND Conference. She said, “be selfish about your wellness.” This is where passionate leaders – especially women – often fail. Selfish is considered negative and ugly. However, great leaders know what and in what measure they can give generously, and what they must maintain for self and for the future.
Ultimately, selfish commitment to your wellness allows you to make an unselfish commitment to leading others.
So be well. Lead on. To your great success.
Who is She?
Dr. Joynicole Martinez is founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Alchemist Agency, a management and leadership development consulting firm focused on building the capacity of purpose driven organizations, corporations, and executives.
Dr. Martinez has 20 years of experience providing capacity-building services, including fund development, leadership and board training, strategic planning, and performance management and optimization.
As a community advancement and public health expert, Joynicole has developed initiatives that reach across disciplines to strengthen health and wellness. For example, the development of mixed-income, mixed-finance housing communities that address the social determinants of health, equity, and human rights. Joynicole was awarded the African Community Service Award for her work and contribution to the African diaspora abroad and in the United States.
Dr. Martinez earned a BA in Political Science from the College of Charleston, a MBA from the University of Phoenix, a DSc. In Clinical Counseling and a Health Science Doctorate (DHSc.) with a concentration in Leadership and Organizational Behaviour from A.T. Still University. She is also a Certified Six Sigma Green Belt (CSSGB).
She sits on the Board of Directors for the Franklin Foundation for Innovation, Wisdom To Believe Foundation, is the U.S. Chair for Housing and Community Development for the ALL International Women’s Chamber, a Subject Matter Expert for the National Health Care for the Homeless Council, is a SheSource Expert in the areas of Business and the Economy, Health, and Social Justice, and is a contributor to the newspaper The Carolinian.