Today’s blog is a bit more personal than others, but I feel that for me to be an effective manager this message is an important part of my philosophies. I cannot be an effective manager unless I’m healthy and happy at work, if I show up sick or downtrodden the staff knows and responds accordingly. They could stop communicating or avoid contact with me, which is never productive from a management point of view.
This problem is amplified for a lot of technical teams as staying healthy often fall short to long hours of programing and computing fixes. For years, I have heard of the runners high while working out, but to be honest I’m not a runner, and the few times I have tried were not effective. Then, about 20 years ago my brother introduced me to mountain biking.
Between that introduction and a friend at work wanting me to get them into mountain biking, and offering to get me interested in road biking in exchange, I now put between 70-100 miles a week on a bike. I know biking is not for everyone, and I realize those numbers sound huge to people that do not ride. Furthermore, if you told me that I would be biking this much just 5 years ago I would have laughed it off as a dream.
But here is the truth about bike riding for me. On my ride days (3-4 a week, usually before work and weekends), I feel energized, happy and ready to tackle any problem at work. If I slack, and that happens, I quickly begin to feel the weight of work and life piling up on me. I finally found that riders high, and for me it lasts for a couple of days. And when I am performing at my best, my staff gets the best of me, which I should always be working towards to provide them. Here are some things you could be doing to get your mind straight and be better for the team that relies on you.
Forget you can’t, get that bike and ride it to work, or anywhere, once a week:
This is how I started. I never thought I could ride to my work. It’s steep and up a mountain, and it took me 3 weekend rides to find the path I should take. Just finding the path help build me up to that ride to work for the first time. Now I do it weekly as part of my regime.
My wife is an amazing body professional; massage therapist, chef, and person. I scoffed at this until she had to drag me to a class. I now close my door every other day for 10-15 minutes. If you think you can’t, you can. I guarantee you will get more done after clearing your mind.
Reward your staff with a fun day:
After a hard project, take your team leads to a great movie, or something goofy like miniature golf. Help clear their minds from the last test, and clear the path for the next project. It’s also great for team cohesion and trust. Take this week to show your team you care by making yourself, and them, better.