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I'm an agile leader and I'm exhausted!

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by Lai Ling Su



Being an agile leader is a big responsibility. I’m expected to change the world, deliver phenomenally better outcomes without rocking the boat too much, be of service, coach and change my behaviours seemingly overnight. I’m expected to live up to your expectations, and your expectations; oh and your expectations too. But where is my support? Being an agile leader is lonely and exhausting. What am I to do?

If this describes you, then for these 45 minutes: just listen. If you choose to, you can ask yourself some questions. When you’re ready (it could be today, tomorrow, next year, or some time in the future), you can answer those questions honestly for yourself and confidently discover your next steps forward.

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I'm an agile leader and I'm exhausted!

  1. 1. L a i – L i n g S u I’m an agile leader and I’m exhausted!
  2. 2. u Mental Exhaustion u Emotional Exhaustion u Physical Exhaustion u Burnout
  3. 3. u Me The End.
  4. 4. u Me The End. u You Take Away and Share: One Thing with One Person.
  5. 5. Burnout You?
  6. 6. Stop forcing yourself to keep consuming information Cognitive Overload M e n t a l E x h a u s t i o n
  7. 7. Train yourself to focus your attention Cognitive Overload M e n t a l E x h a u s t i o n
  8. 8. It’s about managing your energy, not your time Energy M e n t a l E x h a u s t i o n
  9. 9. Just because you have a strength, doesn’t mean you should own up to or use it Energy M e n t a l E x h a u s t i o n
  10. 10. I’m over it! Elisabeth Kubler Ross & William Bridges E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o n Denial
  11. 11. I’m over it! Elisabeth Kubler Ross & William Bridges E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o n Denial Anger
  12. 12. Seeking Help for Mental Health E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o n Seek help when you notice something isn’t right. Talk to your General Practitioner (GP), mental health professionals or use the Employee Assistance Programs (EAP) at work if you have them
  13. 13. I’m over it! Elisabeth Kubler Ross & William Bridges E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o n Denial Anger Bargaining
  14. 14. I’m over it! Elisabeth Kubler Ross & William Bridges E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o n Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance
  15. 15. I’m over it! Elisabeth Kubler Ross & William Bridges E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o n Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance Ending Grief Curve Every beginning starts with an ending
  16. 16. I’m over it! Elisabeth Kubler Ross & William Bridges E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o n Give yourself an extended break (at least a few weeks)
  17. 17. I’m over it! Elisabeth Kubler Ross & William Bridges E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o n Denial Anger Bargaining Depression Acceptance Ending Neutral Recovery Zone Beginning Grief Curve Every beginning starts with an ending
  18. 18. E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o n
  19. 19. Behavioural Change. Transtheoretical Model of Change E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o n I won’t become another useless administrator “I can’t…” OR “I won’t…”
  20. 20. Behavioural Change. Transtheoretical Model of Change E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o nPre-Contemplation Understand Self What is it that I am really opposed to? Consideration that is free from judgment Hmm, maybe there’s an advantage to this new role in the old guard… “I may…”
  21. 21. Behavioural Change. Transtheoretical Model of Change E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o nPre-Contemplation Understand Self What is it that I am really opposed to? Consideration that is free from judgment Contemplation Understand Self What is more important to me? Gathering information and setting direction I will find myself a mentor in the old guard and learn from them… “I will…”
  22. 22. Behavioural Change. Transtheoretical Model of Change E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o nPre-Contemplation Understand Self What is it that I am really opposed to? Consideration that is free from judgment Contemplation Understand Self What is more important to me? Gathering information and setting direction Preparation Understand Self What solutions will work for me? Take small steps and experiment a lot I am going to do great work by pairing with… “I am…”
  23. 23. Behavioural Change. Transtheoretical Model of Change E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o nPre-Contemplation Understand Self What is it that I am really opposed to? Consideration that is free from judgment Contemplation Understand Self What is more important to me? Gathering information and setting direction Preparation Understand Self What solutions will work for me? Take small steps and experiment a lot Action Understand Self How can I make this easier for me? Use strengths and plan for lapses It’s been 6 months and I only slip up when… “I still am…”
  24. 24. Behavioural Change. Transtheoretical Model of Change E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o nPre-Contemplation Understand Self What is it that I am really opposed to? Consideration that is free from judgment Contemplation Understand Self What is more important to me? Gathering information and setting direction Preparation Understand Self What solutions will work for me? Take small steps and experiment a lot Action Understand Self How can I make this easier for me? Use strengths and plan for lapses Maintenance Understand Self What positive things have emerged for me? Appreciation & discovery of new motivators Ah crap, I’ve gone back to kicking and screaming… “I am not…”
  25. 25. Behavioural Change. Transtheoretical Model of Change E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o nPre-Contemplation Understand Self What is it that I am really opposed to? Consideration that is free from judgment Contemplation Understand Self What is more important to me? Gathering information and setting direction Preparation Understand Self What solutions will work for me? Take small steps and experiment a lot Action Understand Self How can I make this easier for me? Use strengths and plan for lapses Maintenance Understand Self What positive things have emerged for me? Appreciation & discovery of new motivators Relapse Understand Self Why did I fall back to old / create bad habits? Reflect, learn and try again – resilience I always know how to get the executives on board with my initiatives! “I always…”
  26. 26. Behavioural Change. Transtheoretical Model of Change E m o t i o n a l E x h a u s t i o nPre-Contemplation Understand Self What is it that I am really opposed to? Consideration that is free from judgment Contemplation Understand Self What is more important to me? Gathering information and setting direction Preparation Understand Self What solutions will work for me? Take small steps and experiment a lot Action Understand Self How can I make this easier for me? Use strengths and plan for lapses Maintenance Understand Self What positive things have emerged for me? Appreciation & discovery of new motivators Relapse Understand Self Why did I fall back to old / create bad habits? Reflect, learn and try again – resilience Permanent Exit Understand Self How do I identify myself after this change? Integration and normalisation
  27. 27. P h y s i c a l E x h a u s t i o n
  28. 28. Tips P h y s i c a l E x h a u s t i o n Be organised
  29. 29. Tips P h y s i c a l E x h a u s t i o n Build in lots of breaks through the day
  30. 30. Tips P h y s i c a l E x h a u s t i o n Remember to eat and keep your liquids up
  31. 31. Tips P h y s i c a l E x h a u s t i o n Understand how you recharge your energy – with or without people – and act accordingly
  32. 32. Tips P h y s i c a l E x h a u s t i o n Go to bed when your body tells you to
  33. 33. Tips P h y s i c a l E x h a u s t i o n The success of a session, a product or a team is not your sole responsibility
  34. 34. B u r n o u t
  35. 35. Diversity unharnessed can lead to mental exhaustion The Value of Values B u r n o u t
  36. 36. Inclusion is much more important than diversity The Value of Values B u r n o u t
  37. 37. Focus on values The Value of Values B u r n o u t
  38. 38. u Do a stocktake of values u Where and by how much do these values overlap? u Decide what is acceptable u Decide what’s next The Value of Values B u r n o u t
  39. 39. Know when it’s time to leave The Value of Values B u r n o u t
  40. 40. Aligning Values, Goals and Actions B u r n o u t Time -1 Value Learning Goal 1 Career Development in Global Financial Markets Goal 2 Ancestors, Chinese Culture and their Influence on Me Action 1 Move to Hong Kong Action 2 Work at an Investment Bank Action 3 Work for a Global Trading Desk
  41. 41. Aligning Values, Goals and Actions B u r n o u t Time -1 Value Learning Goal 1 Career Development in Global Financial Markets Goal 2 Ancestors, Chinese Culture and their Influence on Me Action 1 Move to Hong Kong Action 2 Work at an Investment Bank Action 3 Work for a Global Trading Desk Time 0 Value Learning Goal 1 Career Development in Global Financial Markets Goal 2 Self Development in Identity and Belonging Action 1 Live in Hong Kong Action 2 Work at an Investment Bank Action 3 Work for a Global Trading Desk
  42. 42. Aligning Values, Goals and Actions B u r n o u t Time 1 Value Learning Goal 1 Career Development in Global Financial Markets Goal 2 Self Development in Identity and Belonging Action 1 Trigger repatriation via the Investment Bank I was working for Action 2 Reform my identity in a safe and familiar environment Time 0 Value Learning Goal 1 Career Development in Global Financial Markets Goal 2 Self Development in Identity and Belonging Action 1 Live in Hong Kong Action 2 Work at an Investment Bank Action 3 Work for a Global Trading Desk
  43. 43. Work is not the only trigger for burnout Aligning Values, Goals and Actions B u r n o u t
  44. 44. We often look outside of ourselves for the answers we seek, lose and confuse ourselves in the process, then discover them only when we look back inside Aligning Values, Goals and Actions B u r n o u t
  45. 45. Values, Goals and Actions gradually become misaligned over time and have the potential to lead to emotional exhaustion and burnout Aligning Values, Goals and Actions B u r n o u t
  46. 46. u What type of exhausted are you? u What is that one thing that is playing through your mind right now? u Who is that one person that you’re going to share it with? u When?
  47. 47. L a i – L i n g S u https://www.linkedin.com/in/lailingsu Thank You

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