Do you work in order to rest, or do you rest in order to work?
I devote one chapter of Embracing Followership to the concept of rest being a significant resource, one that’s necessary for us in order to follow with excellence. As I’ve contemplated the idea, I’ve come across at least two perspectives on rest.
From one side, we might think of rest as a reward; we work hard so that we earn a bit of vacation/holiday, or so that we have the money in order to enjoy a special trip. We spend ourselves in our labors, and then look to a time of rest in order to recover. As such, rest might be said to be fueled by our immediate past, the culmination of what we’ve just invested.
From a different angle, we might think of rest as being a preparatory time, one that will enable us to continue contributing our very best to the group that we’re involved with. We allow ourselves to slow down so that when the time comes we will be able to ramp-up, to give what we have to offer. In this case, rest is future-oriented: we rest now so that we can engage in what’s up next, so that we will have the energy and capacity to invest in the opportunities to come.
I wonder, which perspective on rest is most significant in your life?
And, do you struggle with giving yourself permission to rest? Do others facilitate opportunities for you to rest? Do you contribute to others’ ability to rest? What perspectives on rest do you encounter within your workplace, culture, family, & friends?
For a Christian perspective on the necessity of leaders to rest for the sake of their followers, see: “Leading with rest: how Sabbath impacts your community (ChurchCentral)”
For a Christian perspective on the challenge of rest, see “How to ensure you’ll never get to rest (ChurchCentral)”
For encouragement and guidance in understanding and applying yourself to following with excellence and helping others to do the same, see:
Embracing Followership: How to Thrive in a Leader-Centric Culture (by Allen Hamlin Jr; Kirkdale Press, Feb 2016)
Find other recommendations for various aspects of followership on our Resources page.
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