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Andy Stern
Labor leader

Andy Stern

Andy Stern is president of the two-million member Service Employees International Union (SEIU), the fastest-growing union in North America.

An Absolute Need

The absolute need for leaders to recharge, coupled with the ever-expanding ease of being "plugged in" is a growing dilemma. Where there once were technological obstacles to remaining available and updated, the challenge is now a personal one -- and I for one have could use some help.

Tricks such as checking your email at pre-arranged frequencies, setting an out-of-office return email message to lower expectations, forwarding emails to single person through whom you channel your contacts, limiting phone calls to certain hours or just going cold turkey--all have merit, but each requires a level of self-discipline.

And we all know a single email or phone message with bad news or a looming "crisis" can drain the "recharge" for the day or week.

One thing is sure: You cannot recharge the battery and use the energy at the same time; so leadership is making choices. Being kind to your self, and understanding the long term personal and organizational benefit of being relaxed, focused, and having perspective needs a higher value for most of us.

In addition, the opportunity for others to learn to step up and lead in your absence is a fond reminder that we are all not as irreplaceable as we think.

By Andy Stern

 |  August 10, 2009; 11:10 AM ET
Category:  Leadership personalities Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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