Welcome! Today we're talking about leadership fatigue, the ailment that causes many hardworking skaters to fall out of love with roller derby. If you're in a leadership position and routinely feel like pulling out your own hair (or if your hairs are abandoning your head on their own), you may be suffering from leadership fatigue.
This malady afflicting team leaders – coaches, presidents, etc. – is more than routine burnout. Burnout can generally be cured by taking a break. But when you're in charge of day-to-day operations within your league, you may feel like you can never truly have a day off. By observing three simple rules, you can save yourself from leadership fatigue.
Rule 1 – Cut yourself some slack
In life, there are few things that you “have to” do. We hear people putting pressure on themselves all the time, by rattling off a long list of tasks they have to accomplish. Remember that your involvement in derby is voluntary. You have to eat. You have to sleep. But you do not have to make up your mind about next season's uniforms right. this. minute. So think about whether you're creating your own stress. And if you are, stop it!
Rule 2 – Determine your off-hours
Just because you've got a Blackberry doesn't mean you need to be accessible to all people at all times. Being in a leadership role sometimes makes derby feel like a job (that you don't get paid to do), so schedule some downtime for yourself and stick to it. If after 5 p.m., you never return emails or pick up the phone, people will eventually understand that whatever it is they need to talk to you about can wait until morning.
Rule 3 – Delegate
You may think that it's easier to handle everything yourself. Wrong. If you take on too many tasks, something is going to suffer – your mental health, in particular. If you're in charge, then you must be able to delegate. Identify people who seem responsible and ask them to take on a task. Accept the fact that even when you delegate, someone at some point will drop the ball. But you've got to be willing to let those mistakes and oversights happen, so you can continue loving derby.