World over people are concerned about privacy. However the more we want to protect our privacy, the more public we are about our thoughts, feelings, and reactions. Thanks to the smart phone and social media! Should the organization keep a tab on the sleep pattern of its people in leadership roles?
Hard work needn’t be long hours!
Researchers have proved beyond doubt that sleep deprivation makes one feel tired, irritable, edgy and blunt in making judgments. So, leaders have to rest well to be able to listen well, converse meaningfully and inspire their teams.
However, given the social norms that seem to govern most communities in the world today, most people in leadership roles consciously try building an image of being dynamic, quick-on-the-feet and versatile. So they tend to work extra hours, keep communicating with the crew using all possible channels of communication. They tend to squeeze in an hour or two each day. Long flights, packed agendas, quick turnarounds and obsession with emails and various other social channels keep one busy for sure.
One must take a hard look at this and ask if one could be equally effective by appropriate delegation, solid planning, and rigorous performance management. We know that the world here is a lot of volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous than ever before; hence the leader has to keep his or her eyes on the ball all the time. Hence it’s all the more important for the leader to stay alert, anticipate events, connect the dots quickly and act decisively. A leader must sleep well!
Don’t infect the others!
Some leaders brag about their work timings, the stretch goals of getting things done and being lightning fast in their responses. Their team pays for such misadventures.
Everyone in the team feels obliged to follow the footsteps of the boss so that they do not get branded as slowpokes and their commitment towards the organization and the boss do not get questioned. If most people in the team sleep less and get to work with deficits inattentiveness, energy and drive, the service quality suffers and the organization runs into a vicious circle. Nobody wants that to happen!
Maybe, the boss stumbled upon an interesting thought, so he or she gets up in the middle of the night and starts working on it immediately so that the thought gets its due attention and energy; the idea could blossom forth into something very big. So, that’s a midnight lamp burning and an exception. But this can’t be expected to happen each day.
Some bosses expect their subordinates to be active on their smartphones and stay connected until late in the night. That becomes a culture in the team. Most often the long work hours don’t accompany high levels of productivity in the organisation. So, it’s no point dragging everyone in the team to sacrifice their time outside the usual work hours in tasks which don’t yield business results.
Can we not plan better?
Some organisations do better than the others in planning their way up the hill. The people in leadership roles across the levels learn to work accordingly. Countries like Japan encourage their workers to take a nap in the afternoon so that they are better prepared to take up the next set of tasks. This is an example of how some plan for high productivity.
Coworkers, subordinates and bosses have to play their role in dealing with isolated cases of sleep-deprived managers. They need to be counseled and given feedback about their actions. Sometimes they may not know the amount of stress they create on their team members by firing long emails before the bedtime or holding periodic meetings on a holiday and so on.
Sleep well to repair the damages done during the day to the mental fabric and boost morale in the team!
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