Rest and renewal

“If you neglect to recharge a battery, it dies. And if you run full-speed ahead without stopping for water, you lose momentum to finish the race.”   —Oprah Winfrey

Many leaders in higher education have all-consuming jobs –the sort that can eat you up if you let them.

Years ago when I was partnering with the American Council of Education (ACE) on a national project to support women leaders, an experienced college president gave me some good advice. I asked her what she saw as a key to a leader’s success. She told me, “Every leader needs to purposely plan for times of rest and renewal. Without purposeful renewal, burnout is inevitable.” She went on to say that she often counseled younger, up-and-coming leaders to take quarterly breaks to recharge their batteries and to find passions outside of work that brought them deep satisfaction and renewal. For her, playing piano was that everyday passion that allowed her to recharge and bring fresh perspective to her work. She also practiced what she preached by actually taking her vacation.

With the holiday season upon us, many of us will be taking some time away from work to spend with family and friends. I’m happy to say that I’ll be doing the same and preparing to host 22 of my relatives for Christmas Eve. I’m also planning to recharge my batteries by getting outside and enjoying the Minnesota winter on my cross-country skis.

What do you plan to do to recharge your batteries so you don’t lose momentum for the race ahead?

Anita Rios


Higher EDge will be taking a break and returning on Wednesday, January 2.


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