Skip to Content


 August 19, 2021   By Living As A Leader


Main Content

How Leaders Can Foster Independence

Over the past year, working long hours from home or staying late and coming in on weekends has pushed many to the brink of burnout. We all, collectively, need a break.

Fortunately, leaders have seen the warning signs and are taking advantage of summer to encourage time off, closing down offices for a week or longer, or in the case of the entire country of Iceland, experimenting with a 4-day work week. Here’s why leaders should continue to recognize that we all need to slow down and recharge.

Good moods are contagious

Organizational psychologist Dr. Adam Grant recently explained how connecting in groups like attending a concert, camping with friends or going to a sporting event is good for everyone’s mood –– and then it spreads “collective effervescence.” “Research has found that people laugh five times as often when they’re with others than when they’re alone,” Grant writes. “Even exchanging pleasantries with a stranger on a train is enough to spark joy.” In other words, when people find joy outside of work in time off and vacations, they can bring back their positive moods to everyone they work with.

Practice what you preach

There’s one area where leaders absolutely need to model the behavior themselves: Practicing patience and respecting downtime. Once leaders are ready to slow down to act, they need to project this outward to the organization. When we work with leaders, we help them see if their words and non-verbal actions match up. Do they encourage time off, then repeatedly email when someone has an out-of-office autoresponder? Your people will notice the disconnect. That’s why leaders need to model their values and intentions, and practice what they preach when it comes to work/life balance.   

Slow down during transitions

Finally, as many companies transition back to office or hybrid models, leaders need to slow down and help their team work through the changes. One leader we worked with brought extensive experience from previous global roles––and then sought to quickly implement what he thought was best in a new organization. One employee described him as “moving very fast, almost to the point of barreling through.” Ironically, in an attempt to save time and effort, this leader was making the process longer and more difficult—if not impossible. Slow down, and employees will better be able to speed up.

In the future, we shouldn’t have to be on the brink of burnout to recognize the value of recharging. Leaders should help their team be their best and most productive with down time, time off and the ability to process changes at their own pace.


At Living As A Leader, we offer a Leadership Development Series designed to produce leaders that can positively shape the cultural environment, reduce turnover and achieve crucial business initiatives. We do this by providing training, coaching and consulting with a focus on pragmatic communication tools for leaders at all levels of your organization.

For more information, contact Steph Collins at

Related Blogs

Please wait while we gather your results.
Olympic Glory: Learning How to Coach From The World Stage

Olympic Glory: Learning How to Coach From The World Stage

“Coaching is unlocking a person’s potential to maximize their own performance. It’s helping them to learn rather than teaching them.” – Tim Gallwey

February 17, 2022 | By Living As A Leader

Read More

Making Employees Feel Valued During the Great Reshuffle

Making Employees Feel Valued During the Great Reshuffle

The numbers show that employees want change. Data from the federal government shows that people are quitting their jobs at a record rate, with each month shattering the previous high. There’s no end in sight.

January 20, 2022 | By Living As A Leader

Read More

How Leaders Can Improve Problem-Solving Abilities

How Leaders Can Improve Problem-Solving Abilities

If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that problems can come at leaders fast and furious. Often, there’s no perfect solution in these complex situations, but the problems still need attention and can’t be ignored.

December 2, 2021 | By Living As A Leader

Read More