There is a whole new wave of trendy new terms  being tossed around over the past couple years in  leadership circles.The terms that come to mind  are engagement,employee experience, wellness,    wellbeing and self care.

What irks me about our workplace today is that so often, these terms get put into a category of “flu‰.” It is easy to assume that these trends have nothing to do with leadership or business results.

My take: these “trends” are all foundational components that have made me a better leader. Here’s why. 

Most research on what makes strong leaders show common themes in the traits they have developed over their journey.   

1. The best approach to leading is as a partner and not as “the boss.”   

2. Great leaders take an empathetic approach to team members. They know that each team member is a unique human with    different needs.   

3. The best leaders share a purpose that inspires everyone to  drive to a common goal.  

4. Strong leaders understand that everyone is watching their every move and decision.  Leaders are navigating incredible challenges today.

They    are balancing the needs of five generations in the workforce.  On top of this, along came a global pandemic which brought    unprecedented voluntary turnover and record low engagement.    Before we knew it, how and where we worked changed as    well. On top of this change, a new health crisis emerged.    People experienced higher rates of stress and burnout because    of multiple personal and family demands and the inability to    turn o% work while working at home. When we combine these    challenges with the worry and anxiety driven by current events    in the world,it is clear that each person in the workforce has a    whole new set of complicated barriers that stand in the way of    their ability to be their best. 

“Creating an organization where leaders encourage people to meet their full potential drive bottom line business results and keep their best people engaged”

It is clear that strengthening leadership traits and behaviors  will position leaders to thrive in today’s complex environment    and will prepare them for the future. In fact, a new social    contract with our people has been formed—as a leader, it is    OK to be a human and to make self care a priority .

The leadership dilemma. How do we face the future    and acknowledge that as a human, we are feeling and living    everything the teams are? Simply put, just be honest and lead    people with LOVE:

Be people’s Voice when they need it Always    have Empathy 

Where can you begin? Start by knowing your own wellbeing    takes precedence over everything else. To do this, I have found    it is helpful to establish a routine. Through trial and error, I    found that journaling at the end of the day and doing a quick    15 minute yoga session calms my mind. It is important to    prioritize getting the right amount of exercise and sleep. I also    started exploring meditation and the benets    that come from quieting your mind and    focusing on being present.    These habits did not come overnight. It    took a real focus and time to find what was    right for me. I can assure you, when you find    it, life is enriched beyond belief.

Another key to success is carving out    time to process all the challenges that are    coming at us at a feverish pace. The best    leaders use their ability to break down    complex situations into digestible parts.
It’s also important that we remember that    no matter what generation you come from,    Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs transcends    generations. Regardless of whether you’re a    Baby Boomer, a Millennial or GenZ, we all    need to know we are safe and are appreciated    for our effort.

What we are witnessing is the    understanding that evolved leaders who    practice self care lead their teams with    empathy. They listen, ask questions, and    validate the team members’ struggles    through a relationship of trust. We find any    and all resources needed to ensure our people    feel fully supported and are assured their    wellbeing is a priority. Maintaining flexibility    to help them manage their lives goes a long    way in showing they are important. Leading    by example, fostering trust and letting people    know that mental health is a priority. This sends a message that we    care only about what you need at this moment to be your best.

Leaders who prioritize self care and lead with L.O.V.E.    (Listening, Observing, Voice and Empathy) are thriving in business    because their people are their best brand ambassadors and they have    industry-leading commitment. Talent not only wants to stay with    their companies, and these companies attract new talent because of    these shared values.

As a final thought, there is a strong correlation when we as    leaders focus on being the best version of ourselves, both inside and    outside of work. Evolving leaders know this and have unlocked the    key to driving retention and strong engagement among their teams.    Let’s be clear—job-seekers are hearing about these leaders and    want to join these organizations. Creating an organization where    leaders encourage people to meet their full potential drive bottom    line business results and keep their best people engaged.