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If sleep is essential to effective leadership, why do so many Leaders fail to sleep enough?

Posted by McKinsey Quarterly on 12 April 2018
If sleep is essential to effective leadership, why do so many Leaders fail to sleep enough?

Sleep matters because of its strong link to effective leadership.

Emailing in bed
Two-thirds of executives are dissatisfied with how much sleep they get, and 55 percent with their quality of sleep. Some causes are organizational:

Leaders who say their company

  • doesn't educate them enough about the value of sleep 36%
  • expects them to be "on" too long and too responsive to emails and phone calls 47%
  • doesn't allow them to make getting enough sleep a priority 83%


Homework
But other causes are more personal, for instance the tendency to bring work home from the office.

  • The most popular way of getting to important work is taking it home in the evening and spending three hours after dinner on it. 
  • By that time, most executives are too tired  to do a good job.
  • [They] are better off going to bed earlier and getting up earlier.

Stop Snoozing

Further ways executives can improve their sleep patterns include removing their smartphones from the bedroom, cat-napping in the afternoonand laying off the snooze button.

About 60 or 70 percent of the people I see snooze setting your alarm, waking up, falling back asleep. It goes off again hurting the quality of your sleep. If I could tell people to stop = doing one thing, it's snoozing - Els van der Helm Sleep expert

Sleep Friendly

To create more sleep-friendly cultures, organisations should establish:

  • Work Free Holidays  - A US software company gives a $7500 bonus to employees disconnecting on their holidays
  • Predictable Time Off - One firm's productivity rose when it tested planned nights off without
    • Email
    •  work, or
    • smartphones
  • Team Working -  Create tag teams ot hand over the reins to
    • Other teams
    • In different time zones
    • At the end of shifts
  • Travel Flexibility - encourage the earlier flight, not the red-eye
  • Sleep Pods - Tech companies and Telcos have successfully adopted sleep pods and nap rooms

Read More about Sleep and Leadership

Author: McKinsey Quarterly
About: https://www.mckinsey.com

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