Having recently read Lead Yourself First: Inspiring Leadership Through Solitude, Westcoast Direct founder and CEO, Inder Tiwana found that these are words every team leader should hear at least once in their career. He says that “One of the things that so many company directors and team leaders fail to do is to take time for themselves. It isn’t always a matter of refreshing and resting so that you can go back at it invigorated, but rather it should be a time of honest reflection.”
In the book, the authors Michael Erwin and Raymond Kethledge discuss how taking time away from everything from live interaction with people to online communications can enhance one’s sense of clarity. In the process, creativity is enhanced and the person in quiet reflection becomes better balanced emotionally as well as spiritually and physically.
“At Westcoast Direct, we also encourage every member of our teams to take time off to be in solitude. Whether it’s a weekend away at a cabin retreat or simply a few days at home with all electronics unplugged and a note on the door that says they are away,” he further states.
The authors of the book give examples of how leaders break under adverse situations or criticism and they go on to show how taking time in solitude can help strengthen you face criticisms and obstacles with increased courage and stamina. “After all,” the CEO of Westcoast Direct explains, “when you’ve taken the time to assess yourself, you don’t need the praises of others. You also learn that life will throw lemons at you but since you know how to make lemonade, there is nothing to fear or become depressed over.”
While it is sometimes not practical to spend days away in solitude, the reflective leader of Westcoast Direct says that everyone can find at least a few moments daily to step back and away from the crowd. There are times when your body even demands a bit of solitude and this is where technology can be your best friend.
In Closing, “I loved that the authors suggested staying in touch with your biorhythms through wearables,” Inder Tiwana says.