real estate leadership Putting Your Mask on First: Leadership Lessons from In-Flight Instructions
August 25, 2023

Putting Your Mask on First: Leadership Lessons from In-Flight Instructions

In leadership, timeless wisdom often finds its roots in the most unexpected places and often at the most unexpected times.  

One such source of inspiration came recently from a flight I was on when the flight attendant gave the pre-flight instructions before takeoff: “Put your mask on first before assisting others.” This always seemed counter-intuitive to me, since most people would think the right thing to do is to help others first. However, their reasoning lies in the idea that you won’t be able to help others as effectively if you cannot breathe. That makes a lot of sense! 

I took from that moment a profound lesson for leaders in all walks of life. Just as it’s imperative for air travelers to prioritize their own well-being before aiding others, leaders must recognize the significance of self-care in order to show up as their best selves for their team members and, by extension, model a culture of well-being within their organization. 

Related reading: Eight SELF Management Strategies for Life and Business 

Prioritizing Self-Care: Why It Matters 

Self-care is often the first victim of a busy schedule. That massage you’ve been wanting all month? Sorry, have another meeting instead. Going out on Friday evening for dinner with friends? Oops, need to do payroll. As a leader, you have people relying on you, but how reliable will you be if you burn out?   

How do you, as a leader, make sure you are taking care of yourself? We have some ideas: 

  1. Resilience in Action: Leaders who prioritize self-care are better equipped to navigate challenges and setbacks. Just as a well-rested traveler can think clearly and act decisively in an emergency, a well-cared-for leader can maintain composure during high-stress situations, making rational decisions that guide their team through difficulties. With so many worrisome and unexpected emergencies cropping up around the world lately, ensuring that you are rested and clear-minded could be vitally important.
  1. Lead by Example: Teams take cues from their leaders. When leaders prioritize self-care, it sends a powerful message that well-being is integral to success. By modeling a healthy work-life balance, leaders encourage their teams to do the same, fostering a culture that values both productivity and holistic wellness. We’ve all seen those TV shows where nobody wants to leave the office when the boss is still there because they don’t want to be perceived as lazy, or those employees that are always “on-call” and drop everything to go to work because they’re expected to.
  1. Enhanced Empathy: Nurturing self-care allows leaders to cultivate empathy and emotional intelligence. When leaders are attuned to their own needs, they are better able to understand and support the needs of their team members. In fact, they are better able to see when a coworker is struggling, even if that coworker doesn’t realize it. This empathetic connection fosters trust and a sense of belonging within the organization, and even creating company policies that support self-care could get everyone to be more mindful (not to mention rested).  
  1. Sustained Performance: Just as the airplane’s oxygen mask ensures passengers remain conscious and functional for the duration of the flight, self-care enables leaders to sustain consistent peak performance. Regular exercise, mindfulness practices, and ample rest contribute to increased focus, creativity, and overall effectiveness in leadership roles. Self-care cannot be a once-in-a-while thing; it needs to be consistent and even built into your schedule as a non-negotiable event.

Related reading: Cultivating Kindness in Leadership: A Universal Impact 

Go ahead and “put your mask on first.” This serves as a powerful example for your team members to prioritize self-care. By embracing this concept, leaders can cultivate resilience and empathy, which creates a strong and caring company culture. Just as an airplane’s oxygen mask ensures passengers’ safety, leaders who invest in self-care guarantee their ability to guide their teams with clarity, compassion, and unwavering strength.  

Related reading: Forbes – Seven Self-Care Strategies Of Successful Leaders 

Now, your question for the week… How can you get started in your self-care journey? Check out this awesome download of tips and tasks to purposefully build into your schedule.

As a leader, you want to set a great example for the agents in your team. Here’s an excellent read to share with your team members: Anchoring Your Well-Being: Navigation Tools for Resilient Real Estate Professionals

Resources You Can Count On 

Know that agents do NOT have to go it alone in this market. Our goal is to bring the tools, training, and coaching each needs to not only survive the shifts – but build solid, dependable foundations they can count on and help them build clients for life. If that sounds like a goal that can help you reach YOUR goals – then join us for our Free Weekly Real Estate Webinar Training Series! Click below to register for the next one!

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Darryl Davis is an award-winning international speaker, real estate and business coach, and best-selling author of three books, all published by McGraw Hill Publishers.  

For more than 35 years, Darryl has spoken to and trained more than 100,000 sales professionals around the globe to more than double their production year after year. His book, How to Become a Power Agent in Real Estate, tops Amazon’s charts for one of the most sold books to real estate agents.  

He was awarded the Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) designation by the National Speaker’s Association which is given to less than 2% of all speakers worldwide.  

Whether from a stage or Zooming into a virtual room, Darryl’s extraordinary humor, relatability, and natural gift for teaching real-world, results-producing skills and mindsets to audiences have made him a client favorite throughout his career.  

Audiences will laugh, learn, and ultimately walk away better prepared for a changing world, with the tools, skills, and training they need to build their businesses with more ease and less stress and to design lives and careers worth smiling about.  

Bring One of Darryl’s W.O.R.K. Topics to Your Organization! 

By providing your agents with the knowledge and insights they need to stay ahead of the game, you can ensure that they are equipped to handle any situation that comes their way! Contact us here to learn more! 

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