When thought leadership is done right, it helps you to distinguish your brand as an authentic expert in your industry. However, it’s hard work to not only become a leader, but to also maintain your status as a leader. This means you’re going to be busy, often putting in long hours.
It’s obvious: thought leadership requires consistency and tenacity.
But you also need to find work-life balance when you’re a thought leader. You want to lead people by example, so you can inspire them to strive to be leaders as well. To remain leaders, you and your team have to avoid burnout. After all, what good is a frazzled, worn-out thought leader?
Why does work-life balance matter?
Thought leaders are experts in their fields, and they can come from a variety of positions: executives, managers, customer service reps, salespeople, and more. Anyone with experience, knowledge, and an opinion can be a thought leader. But ultimately, leaders need to inspire action in others. It’s hard but important work. So it’s essential to avoid burnout to stay positive, energetic, and influential.
There are numerous benefits to maintaining a healthy work-life balance:
- Less stress: According to a survey by Everest College, 83% of U.S. workers suffer from work-related stress. And stress can take a dramatic toll on your body: sleep issues, headaches, muscle tension, high blood pressure, and fatigue are just some of its effects.
- Lower risk of burnout: excessive and prolonged stress will eventually result in burnout. It can leave people feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and unable to meet life’s demands. These aren’t exactly ideal qualities for being a thought leader, or even a productive employee.
- A greater sense of well-being: simply put, well-being can be described as looking at life positively and feeling good. Physical well-being is also a part of this (i.e., feeling energetic and healthy). A high sense of well-being is crucial for effective leadership. After all, people’s energy and mood can affect others. Picture someone who motivates and inspires others. Did you picture an exhausted or an energetic person?
When workers are energetic, positive, and less stressed, it not only benefits employees but employers as well. A well-balanced team is a more creative and influential one.
How to inspire work-life balance
If you’re a leader, it’s important to encourage others to find balance in their lives so that they can be the best version of themselves. It’s a win-win. Happy workers make happy customers and are more productive.
To promote work-life balance:
- Ask workers what they need: you won’t be able to solve issues without knowing what they are.
- Embrace a flexible workplace: the options are on the rise for flexibility—from working remotely to flexible hours.
- Promote physical health initiatives: whether it’s gym memberships or lunchtime yoga, exercise is vital for health and energy.
- Promote learning opportunities: these could be courses, conferences, or anything that supports learning and growth.
- Keep an eye out for burnout: if you see someone might be struggling, reach out and see how you can help.
Keep in mind: work-life balance can mean different things to different people since we all have various commitments in our lives. Ultimately, only an individual can decide the balance that suits them best. Still, it’s important to provide options that help everyone succeed in finding their personal balance.
A thought leader inspires and motivates people to take action. They start conversations in their fields and have powerful ideas that influence others. But to be a leader and have big ideas, you have to stay energetic and live a balanced life. And you need to inspire this in all your people, too.