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    Boundaries: Lead Your Team Without Losing Your Mind

    May 31, 2023

    Office romances, tardiness excuses, Jeff’s uncle’s cat’s sister’s nephew’s wedding…. In all my years leading real people with real problems, I’ve heard it all. That’s why it’s so important to me to talk boundaries, and how you can actually lead your team without losing your mind. 

    As leaders, how much time are we spending on non-work matters with our team? Surprisingly, the average leader spends three hours dealing with unforeseen issues. And honestly, we’re not here to try to tell you to spend LESS time with your team. Instead, let’s make that time count. 

    Setting boundaries is essential for maintaining sanity and promoting productivity. As a leader, it’s crucial to carve out your own space for the success of you and your team. By establishing clear boundaries, you create an environment that enables you and your team to tackle important tasks and achieve goals.

    So Jeff, that is a cool family tree but just tell me you want to go to Coachella! Let’s refocus and set those boundaries. By defining what’s work-related and what’s not, prioritizing your time and energy, and creating an environment that respects both productivity and personal well-being you can set boundaries that will set up you and your team for success. 


    Setting boundaries is a skill that requires intention and practice, you know like what Sandoval could have done with Raquel. By establishing physical boundaries, emotional boundaries, and experience-centered boundaries, you can effectively lead your team without losing your mind. It’s a win-win situation! (we can’t say the same for Sandoval).  

    • Physical Boundaries: Communicate your availability clearly, and set specific times when you are open to discussions and meetings. By doing so, you provide your team with the predictability they need to plan their work effectively, while also ensuring that you have dedicated time for focused tasks and strategic thinking.
    • Emotional Boundaries: Your on-off switch. Leading a team often involves handling various emotional challenges and conflicts. To prevent these from overwhelming you, it’s crucial to set emotional boundaries. Determine what topics are appropriate for discussion and create an environment where open communication is encouraged, but not at the expense of personal well-being or team dynamics. 
    • Experience-Centered Boundaries: Learning triggers and authenticity in leadership. As a leader, it’s important to understand your own triggers and limitations. Recognize what situations may affect your ability to lead effectively and establish boundaries around them. If talking about politics or religion drains you or triggers unsettled feelings, don’t create a culture that encourages things like activism, social awareness, or related topics.  This is so personal – some CEOs are lit up by some topics, while others are triggered. Embrace authenticity in your leadership style. By being true to yourself and communicating your values, expectations, and goals clearly, you create a culture where team members know what to expect from you and feel empowered to do their best work.

    Building Relationships on Boundaries

    You might know Susan from accounting who has been with the company for 15 years but, you do not know her husband’s name. Don’t be afraid to build friendships with your employees. They are human beings, and it’s important to care about them beyond the office walls. Over time, I’ve developed friendships with my employees, both personally and professionally. After they have worked for you for a few years it would be weird not to, right? 

    A great thing to remember when setting boundaries is that they can be adjusted over time. It’s easier to loosen a boundary in a situation than to establish one once the issue has already come up. By staying adaptable, you can respond effectively to changing needs within your team and ensure ongoing success and growth.

    Fostering Predictability with Boundaries

    Do not underestimate the power of boring old predictability in management. In the fast-paced world of business, predictability can be a rare commodity. By setting boundaries you create a more predictable work environment for your team. When unforeseen issues arise, they’ll feel supported, knowing you have their back while staying within your set boundaries. Predictability might not reduce unnecessary interruptions but at least you will be prepared for them. 

    The Purpose Of Leading Your Team With Boundaries

    As we reach the end of Mental Health Awareness Month, it is important to reflect on the significance of enforcing your boundaries for both personal and professional success. By prioritizing your own well-being and setting clear boundaries, you protect your mental health and become more effective as a leader. Remember, showing up for yourself is just as important as showing up for your team. One of the key differences between being a leader and being led is the intentional creation of our own space.

    When you establish and adapt the permeability of your boundaries to the situation at hand, you create a supportive environment that benefits everyone involved. So, don’t lose your mind! Set your boundaries, predict when you need to be there for your team and create a culture of understanding and well-being.

    If you need help finding out what kind of leader you are so you can set the right boundaries take our QUIZ and find your leadership archetype. Tag @theparadigmm or send me a DM on Instagram with your results! And don’t forget to review and share this episode with any small business owners you know.

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