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Learning to unstring your bow

Entrepreneurs need to learn the leadership skill of replenishment.  It is crucial in the “marathon” like race they run.   I recall learning about this principle aptly called “Learning to unstring your bow”

Have you shot a bow and arrow?  The force that propels the arrow comes from the bow being under significant tension when you pull back the string.  In fact, the bow is already under a fair bit of tension even when the string is not pulled back.  Each end of the fiberglass bow is notched to secure the looped end of the string.  It can be a test of your strength simply stringing the bow. The important point to remember is that the bow is under significant tension in order to create the force to propel an arrow at great speed.

There is an important lesson when using a bow and arrow. Every time one has finished using a bow, one needs to unstring it.  Unstringing the bows releases the tension they were under, prolonging the longevity of the bow.

The basic principal is this: if you want the bow to maintain its strength and do the job for which it was designed, you need to release its tension when you are not using it. This is an important principle in leadership.

Every day leaders step into high stress environments ready to do the job for which they are responsible.  There is a lot of tension involved.  There is stress, there is strain, and it takes great strength to perform well as a leader.  There is much demanded of you.

Good leaders, like a good archer, want to ensure they can hit the target consistently and repeatedly.   Your aim needs to be true, your delivery smooth and your results accurate.  And, like a good archer does in order to prolong the life of his bow, you need to learn to unstring your bow as well.   So, what does that mean?

You have to learn to relax.  You have to learn to unplug.  You have to learn to chill.  You have to learn to restore, refresh, renew, rejuvenate, recalibrate, remind, and recreate your-self to prolong your ability to perform under stress at a high level.  You will not last long if you are always strung tight.              You have to learn to unstring your bow.

You can’t live and lead well if you are always under significant tension.  You will ultimately falter and fail – or at least your health will falter and fail – if you do not learn to stop in order to relax and breathe.  Unstringing your bow is something a leader must do regularly.  It’s a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly commitment every leader must make.

So how do you unstring your bow?  How do you relax and rejuvenate?

In order to perform at a high level you must know how you refuel and renew yourself or your life as a leader will be short-lived.  Once you know the little daily ways and the larger more significant ways in which you refresh yourself you must be committed to making that happen.  A walk outside during a lunch break, or a couple of weeks in the Garden route – you must regularly refresh yourself.   Leaders must learn to unstring their bow.

Committed to the journey


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