Be a better leader, brand advocate: focus on yourself

Yoga has been a part of my life for years. My practice has enabled me to live a balanced, healthy life and has given me the opportunity to make time for myself in my lifestyle, both as an individual and as a business leader.
Taking time for yourself isn’t selfish. I believe that in order to be the best you can be for the team you lead, this is so critically important.
If you’re feeling like you’re constantly multi-tasking, restless or on-edge, you need to evaluate if you’re really present for your team.
Remember that your behavior sets the tone for your team and company. You’re your company’s culture role model. If you’re taking time for yourself and living your life with balance, the effect will trickle down.
One breath at a time
You’re probably thinking, “Sounds great, BUT just when does this ‘time for self’ happen during a busy workday, back-to-back meetings, charitable commitments,” and the list goes on.
Taking time for self can be literal — exercise, a pastime or creative activity you enjoy. Or, taking time for self can be simpler than that. Mindful leadership starts one breath at a time.
Taking a moment to breathe is the first step. The breath moves, calms and focuses the mind and body. A few slow, deep inhales and exhales can not only calm feelings of worry or anxiety, but it can also give a burst of energy to make it through the day.
Focusing on the breath is the first step to being mindful and present in each moment. It’s simple, but the results are incredible. And even though this is just a moment in time, that time is critical.
Creating space, mindfulness
Chair yoga is another way you can make time for yourself. Yogis and non-yogis alike can adopt this practice. In the matter of a few moments (and even at your desk and between tasks), you can create space for your body and your mind.
The benefits help release tension in the neck, back and throughout the entire body. And, it’s an effective way to increase energy in the body and the mind.
Being present and living in the moment is likely the best way to make time for yourself. Regular meditation can help you achieve the mindfulness that you need.
Benefits of this practice can lead to lower blood pressure, less inflammation and better pain management. Not to mention, mindfulness in the workplace can lead to greater creativity, enthusiasm, teamwork and emotional stability among a team. Mindfulness makes everyone more successful.
As leaders in your organization, you are not only a visionary but are more importantly your company’s culture role model. If you take time for yourself, you’ll be a better leader for your team.

Even if you’re tight on time, make yourself a priority and give one of these methods a try. Personally, I’ve found that I’m a better leader and advocate of our brand when I’m the best me I can be. I encourage you to do the same.

Debra Penzone is the President of Charles Penzone Family of Salons. Debra’s expertise as a business leader, hair professional and her avid philanthropy have earned her the respect of the salon industry and the nonprofit community.