Leadership in a word: Rest

Rest and be thankful. - William Wordsworth


Rest - it’s a sometimes elusive concept for many leaders. Intuitively, we know it to be important, but making the time for it is not easy. The demands on our time tend to overwhelm the best of us. Be it the obligations from work, home, children, etc., it’s a cycle that no one is immune from. Sound familiar?

An article in Entrepreneur magazine highlighted the fact that many employees are less productive due to a lack of sleep. It reported that “58 percent of 32,000 workers surveyed said they weren’t getting enough sleep, and 61 percent said that sleep deprivation affected their work. For some, it’s a vicious cycle: 44 percent of workers said that just thinking about work kept them up at night.”

As leaders, we know the value and importance of work. But in the process could it be that we have lost the value and importance of rest? Have you?

As you take into consideration all of the demands on your time perhaps it is also time to take into consideration why rest is such an important element of your leadership. Here are a few reasons worth your consideration.


There’s nothing scientific here that needs to be explained. You simply must remember that you are not invincible and that your mind, body, and spirit need time to recharge. Give yourself permission to recharge - and be sure to promote it among your team.


A change of pace or location can give you time to not only refresh your body but to refresh your mind and thinking. A refreshed mind can help you see the things going on in your life through a fresh lens.


Every leader needs to take the time to reflect on where he or she is, evaluate how things are going, and what adjustments might need to be made. A tired mind and body can’t properly do this. Make sure you set aside time to rest in order to reflect. Your leadership will benefit greatly from this time.


“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” - Alan Cohen

“Each person deserves a day in which no problems are confronted, no solutions are searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.” - Maya Angelou

“Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” - Mark Twain

“All that is important comes in quietness and waiting.” - Patrick Lindsay

“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.” - Bryant McGill


The buzzwords in most leadership circles revolve around productivity and maximizing the day - getting the most out of it. After all, as leaders, it’s what we do what we pride ourselves on. But along the way, don’t lose sight of the fact that you need rest in order to make it happen. Rest for the sake of your leadership and the productivity you desire.

©2018 Doug Dickerson

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