Sydney Professor Urges Leaders to Embrace Vulnerability and Take Breaks

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In a recent interview, Associate Professor Anya Johnson from the University of Sydney emphasised the importance of leaders embracing vulnerability and prioritising breaks to excel in their roles.

According to Professor Johnson, maintaining a constant state of high-level, high-intensity engagement is unsustainable for leaders, making it crucial for them to take adequate breaks to ensure a sustainable career.

Professor Johnson highlighted the misconception that effective leadership requires being constantly available and engaged. Instead, she advocated for leaders to recognise the need for vulnerability and acknowledge their limitations. Leaders can create a healthier work environment and foster open team communication.

“We can’t sustain high-level, high-intensity engagement as a leader at all times,” Professor Johnson explained. “We have to take proper breaks, not only for our well-being but also to maintain the longevity of our careers.”

Taking breaks allows leaders to recharge and rejuvenate and enables them to gain perspective and approach challenges with a fresh mindset. During these breaks, leaders can reflect, seek inspiration, and develop innovative solutions to complex problems.

Moreover, Professor Johnson emphasised the importance of setting an example for others within the organisation. When leaders prioritise self-care and acknowledge their need for breaks, it encourages their team members to do the same. This, in turn, promotes a culture that values work-life balance and overall well-being.

As organisations navigate complex challenges and strive for long-term success, leaders must adopt a holistic approach to leadership. Recognising the need for breaks and embracing vulnerability are essential components of effective leadership. By doing so, leaders can maintain sustainable careers, foster team resilience, and set a positive example for future generations of leaders.

Prof. Johnson’s advice serves as a timely reminder for leaders to pause, recharge, and nurture their well-being, ultimately enabling them to perform at their highest levels and make a lasting impact in their respective fields.

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