All Work, All Play
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All Work, All Play

We’re all familiar with the old American proverb, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy,” but what happens when Jack runs into a season where the expectation is to fully live into both work and play? As you have probably already heard on the radio or in your preferred store of choice, we are entering the “hap-happiest season of all,” and yet for many people, this is a season that’s marked with profound stress. Part of that stress is because the holiday season pushes us to our emotional and mental redline. For many of us, everything dials up around the holidays, which includes work and family functions. It is an all-work all-play season, and it can be both exhausting and stressful.

But it doesn’t necessarily have to be this way. No, we probably shouldn’t try to get out of some things—insert your must-go-to family function or work project here—but we can make adjustments that minimize the stress we experience. We may even be able to wrap this year in a way that sets us up well to launch into the new year with purpose and energy. As you enter the last few weeks of 2021, here are two leadership tips that might help you get the most out of this season for yourself, your family, and your team.

Leadership Tip 1: Give Yourself a Gift

Good leaders tend to pour themselves out for everyone: family, friends, team, and community. This often has them doing things, not because they get energy from an activity, but because it is good for others. As we move into the holiday season, try to carve out some time to do things that you really enjoy and are nourishing to you. In other words, give yourself the gift of true play. Try to disconnect from the rat race by taking time out to enjoy a hobby, connect with a friend, or watch that classic holiday movie that oozes nostalgia and makes you feel warm inside. When you’re out of the office, consider turning off your phone and setting up that out of office response on your emails, so you can switch your focus to yourself and your loved ones. When it comes to family get-togethers, set healthy boundaries. Remember that saying no to a loved one doesn’t necessarily mean “bah-humbug.” Prioritize your emotional wellness because you are your most essential leadership asset.

Leadership Tip 2: Prioritize What is Truly Most Important

It’s been said that good leadership is not about getting everything done but making sure that the right things get done. Practicing this is especially important during the holidays. An example of Ethos trying to live into this practice is that this article will be our last leadership article sent and posted in 2021. We’re intentionally downshifting on this service to give our creative output a break, think strategically about moves we need to make in 2022, and quite honestly, just to open time to be more present with our family and close friends. For us, taking a break to rest, think, and savor relationships are the “right things” that we’re trying to pursue during this season. What do you want to make time for, and what can you do as a leader to open time and create clarity around the most important things for your team as you close out another year?

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Reflect and ActTake 5 minutes to identify a few “gifts” you can give yourself (e.g., lunch with a friend, your favorite holiday movie, etc.). Pick at least one to enjoy every week for the next 5 weeks.

Ethos Leadership Group, LLC

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David Ray - Ethos Leadership Group

Ethos Team:

David Ray

Owner

In 2017, David joined Ethos after leading and advising in the non-profit sector. An organizational troubleshooter and natural synergist, David leverages his analytical and relational skills to help clients take their business and team to their desired next level. With a passion to see others live and lead well, David enjoys connecting leaders to evidence-based practices to boost leadership capacity, build human capital, and improve organizational performance. David particularly enjoys working with clients through strategic planning, executive coaching, and team development.

Fast Facts:

  1. Started his own property investment company at the age of 24
  2. Certified Human Behavior Consultant
  3. David enjoys spending time with his family, traveling to islands, and pretty much anything that has to do with personal development
Rebekah D. Mathis-Stump, J.D. - Ethos Leadership Group

Ethos Team:

Rebekah D. Mathis-Stump, J.D.

Owner

Becky joined Ethos in 2009 after leading the daily operations of five distinct work teams over a ten-year period. An analyst and solution-generator by nature, she works with clients to identify their needs and develops a plan of action to reach their desired results. Having worked in numerous disciplines in her career, Becky brings a broad range of knowledge and experience to our clients. Becky particularly enjoys working with clients on organizational audits, strategic planning, employee training and coaching, and governance.

Fast Facts:

  1. Lived in numerous states growing up, finally claiming West Virginia as home after marrying a native son, Jeff Stump
  2. Received life membership in The Order of the Barristers — a national honor society
  3. Becky enjoys reading, golfing, and cheering on the West Virginia University Mountaineers
Dr. James A. Johnson - Ethos Leadership Group

Ethos Team:

Dr. James A. Johnson

Founder

As our Founder, James encourages us to dream bigger dreams and mentors us to achieve them. James brings this same passion to our clients, skillfully blending inspiration with practical application in his work. James’ primary areas of expertise include leadership and fundraising.

Fast Facts:

  1. Development Officer at Pheasants Forever.
  2. Received President’s Volunteer Service Award (presented by President George W. Bush)
  3. James enjoys spending time with his wife (Lesa), and hunting