(Written by Debbie Hendrickson, WIL Committee vice-chair.)
As part of a group leadership project, our WIL committee recently finished reading the book, “How Remarkable Women Lead” by Joanna Barsh and Susie Cranston. I highly recommend it, as you will find a plethora of good ideas and suggestions for how to improve not only your leadership skills, but your life in general. It’s a good read.
One section of the book particularly attracted my attention --- actually startled me. It was about energy (the physical stamina kind). This section took up a significant portion of the book, as it was one of the five main themes that were discussed.
It surprised me that this issue warranted such attention, when discussing the success of the amazing and dynamic women described in the book. Not that I didn’t realize it takes a lot of energy to be an amazing, dynamic, and successful woman. Rather I have always told myself, when admiring a really amazing woman, that “women like her are just born with an incredible amount of energy --- much more than I could ever have no matter what I do.”
My lack of physical stamina and energy has always been what I considered my biggest obstacle to having or accomplishing more ambitious goals. I’ve learned a lot of little strategies that help maximize the energy I have --- in particular regular exercise and adequate sleep. But even with these priorities, I still have felt limited in the area of energy. (Maybe it has just been a subconscious “excuse” for laziness or other insecurities … who knows?!)
The ideas presented in the book that intrigued me were suggestions for how to have a different perspective on such issues as your own personal energy reserves (e.g. which activities energize you and which ones deplete you), work-life balance (e.g. instead of thinking you can reach a “balance”, learn to manage your actual energy flows), and how to protect and replenish your reserves day to day (e.g. take a quick walk down the hall or outside several times a day).
These are just a few of the many ideas discussed that I found really enlightening. I invite you to read the book if you can and share your discoveries and thoughts. I suspect that you will have an experience similar to mine and that it will change your perspective in a positive and helpful way!