Leaders Need Support, Too
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As a leader, you are likely focused on enhancing others’ work and results. But focusing solely on others’ needs sets you up for burnout. To ensure your ability to support others over the long haul, consider creating a community of support for yourself.
As a nonprofit leader, I realized the importance of this and gathered a “Wisdom Circle” to support me as a person and a leader. Regular gatherings, whether in person or virtual, refresh my vision, sharpen my discernment, and renew my energy for my work.
How to build support with a wisdom circle:
Identify people who are invested in your success and aligned with your values. These may be people formally involved in your organization or not – but they should see and support the best in you. Invite them to be a part of your support network.
Create uninterrupted time, away from your day-to-day work, and a dedicated space to meet with your wisdom circle. Depending on your budget, this may be virtual but if resources allow, being in-person is powerful.
Allow others to help and hold you. Receiving support from others requires vulnerability. In convening my first wisdom circle, it took self-knowledge to recognize my need, confidence to ask for help, faith to trust others could provide it, and humility to receive the support.
Make wisdom circle gatherings a regular part of your leadership journey. Receiving from others is not a one-time activity. Instead, you need to refuel along the way, getting regular support from others in order to continue your own leadership and service.
Finding support will ensure you can lead over the long haul, balancing your own needs with the needs of those you serve, and creating a cyclical flow of support that nourishes everybody.
Do you have a circle of wise supporters to turn to on your leadership journey?
If not, who might you invite to be part of your support network?
Libby Hoffman is the founder and president of Catalyst for Peace, co-founder of Fambul Tok (family talk) in Sierra Leone, and author of The Answers Are There: Building Peace from the Inside Out. Learn more at www.LibbyHoffman.com.