Because of unusually demanding schedules, many leaders feel they have to trade sleep time for additional work time. This trade-off of sleep for work can result in unwanted consequences. Inspiring leadership relies on a leader who can inspire people to perform at their peak and do their very best work every day.
Leaders who show positive emotions influence those who follow them to show more positive emotions as well. Positive emotions foster a community of workers who want to work together to succeed. When sleep deprived, a leader’s ability to experience and show positive emotion is lessened. This can result in followers becoming less inspired. Additionally, team members are likely to follow the bad sleep habits of the boss. You can imagine how quickly an entire company can become collectively sleep deprived and less efficient.
So, whether you lead a team of thousands or just two – make sure you are getting enough sleep each night enough to be healthy and confident the following day. Encourage your team members to do the same. Leaving early to get a good night’s sleep when necessary is a good choice when practical and should be allowed if possible. Set up a sleeping contest among co-workers that uses information from sleep tracking apps or fitness bracelets to show who is actually sleeping the best (and the worst). This type of contest could be a fun addition to an overall wellness program.
Practice your best sleep habits and leave the electronics turned off. Resist the temptation to check your phone, Facebook, or email a thousand times each night. A good rule is that once you are physically in bed, your electronics are now “hot lava” and can’t be touched until you officially wake up the next morning. Sleep better to live and work better every day.
This post was inspired by an article in theHBR: https://hbr.org/2016/06/research-sleep-deprived-leaders-are-less-inspiring