This is the third in a series on leveraging tensions during this time of the coronavirus. For SixSEED Partners, Covid-19 is a powerful reminder of what already exists in our world which is complex and unpredictable circumstances that can cause much pain unless we learn to take a more systemic view, and get comfortable leveraging interdependent tensions. Previously, we covered the paradoxes of:
- Leveraging Facts AND Faith
- Leveraging Staying Present AND Anticipating the Future
I am thankful and in awe of my healthcare executive clients who are staffing command centers yet continue to honor our time together and their development work. The tension of Caring for Self AND Caring for Others is present as they wrestle with the pull of the never ending “to do list” and command center requirements with the desire to structure in time during their day that refuels their energy and feels like a gift to themselves. Many of these leaders have chosen to do a “walk and talk” session where we both get outside so that we can experience the simple pleasures of exercise; sunshine; animals; and blossoming trees. Spoken by several of my clients: “I’ve been sitting for hours on zoom calls: this is the first time I’ve allowed myself to get outside and move!”
For many of you reading this, if you’re in a leadership role, you may have a story of “I’m responsible and that means I model total commitment to the work that needs to be done.” Working twelve-hour days becomes a badge of honor. Of course, you have no time for exercise—you are doing your job: there are no other options. Self-Care requires you to challenge your internal operating system—your belief structure that might actually be getting in the way of your committing time to care for yourself. It’s an interesting tension between playing the hero as you rescue others, while also having the self-awareness of knowing when you might be overdoing that role, to the detriment of yourself and of others who have the capacity to learn and grow in assuming additional responsibilities. One of the most important lessons I had to learn as a nursing leader was to make myself dispensable because I was developing others.
Below is a polarity map, which outlines this tension of Caring for Self AND Caring for Others in service to creating health for all.
At SixSEED Partners, we want to develop leaders who have the capacity to see these interdependent tensions to better lead in this time of uncertainty. We’ve taken the liberty of adding some action steps and warning signs that we’ve heard from our clients. Perhaps they ring true for you as well. I admire those healthcare leadership teams who have relaxed their pre-Covid policies around who staffs their command centers, in service to both developing others AND providing relief for over-worked leaders.
If you’d like your own editable polarity map to give yourself the systemic view of the tension you are navigating, or if you have questions about how you might use this information now, complete our contact form and we’ll respond within 1 business day.