When Do You Recharge?
Randy Wolken, President & CEO

I recharge my electronic devices every night. I plug in my phone, my watch, and my computer. They need that daily charge so they can be refreshed. They often get a software update as well. All of this happens daily. What about me? Do I get recharged daily?  Yes. It is something I now am intentional about.

As leaders – and people – we need to be conscious of our energy levels. When we run low on energy our operating systems don’t function properly. If it is good enough for my devices, how about my all-important brain and body? Even more so!

I have found the best way to recharge my life is to develop good daily habits that give me rest, reflection, and energy. Everyone is different. However, we all need energy to give our best to those we care about and the activities we are called upon to do each day. Daily and weekly recharging is necessary.

There was a time when I was not very focused on recharging my life. I worked late into the evenings and was up early. I did not eat very healthy and sleep quality was an afterthought. I pushed myself hard – too hard. Sure, sometimes it was necessary. As a young Army Officer, I expected myself to lead through example. Push hard and get results was what I did. Over time, I realized that doing so was not setting the right example. Taking care of my energy level meant knowing when to rest and rejuvenate. Watching over soldiers to make sure they didn’t push themselves too hard became an important leadership trait for me. Maximum performance comes from proper rest and reflection. A go-go-all-the-time approach makes for mistakes and distracted individuals. I changed – for the better.

Today, I have daily routines, weekly routines, and annual events that help me relax and recharge. As a leader, I actively watch for fatigue. In our always-on world, it can happen quickly. We need daily rest. We need daily recovery. We need daily resets. We need quality alone time and free time with friends.

What are your daily recharging activities? Are you intentional about it like you are your major outcomes? Should you be? How can you help others find their recharging moments? Can you encourage it as a part of your leadership approach?

I am writing this reflection from Denver, Colorado. I am attending my niece’s wedding and spending time with my family and friends. It will recharge me. It will bring a smile to my face and put a spark in my life. I will make sure I get quiet time and quality sleep as well. Why? Because recharging helps me be a better leader – and person. I hope you get some time this day, this week, and this summer to recharge yourself. We need you at your best!