In 1997, Kenny G set a Guinness World Record by holding a single E-flat on his saxophone for 45 minutes. This was possible because he had practiced circular breathing – a way of actually breathing out through his mouth at the same time he was breathing in through his nose. That’s a rather deft accomplishment I would say.

If you’re interested, you can go to YouTube and see his technique for yourself. I must admit though, it isn’t long before listening gets a little old. You see, it’s the same note that goes on, and on, and on …

And that’s what I’d like to explore in terms of leadership – how leaders can sustain their influence over an extended period of time, without people losing interest, getting bored, tuning them out.

It’s what I would call leadership sustain”ability.”

How to keep yourself fresh and your message motivating

Sustain”ability” is directly associated with your attitude and outlook on the job. How do you approach your work? Is it fun, important, interesting, meaningful? Do you get up every day excited to meet the challenge? Or, are you tired of the same old thing? Has time taken its toll on you?

Admittedly, leadership can become a burden – dealing with conflicts and people problems, trying to meet constantly increasing performance goals, repeatedly being asked to implement one change after another, unable to fill positions, or trying to do the job with a lack of resources. These are problems and stresses that can flatten even the most ebullient spirit.

But it’s also a fact that your workforce is going to take their cues from you – and if you’re able to stay fired up, your people are more likely to feel good about their work and themselves. That means being resilient, positive, and committed to moving forward. It means first finding ways to renew yourself, and passing it along. Psychologists advise that behaviors can lead emotions. In other words, if you act with passion and excitement, you’ll begin to feel passion and excitement – even if you didn’t wake up that way in the morning.

Another essential aspect of sustain”ability” is the quality of your messaging. How hard you work on your communication? Are you thinking creatively about ways to keep your messages new and exciting – especially when you’re promoting your most beloved, and relied-upon principles? Do you stay connected with people so you can best understand them and share your ideas in a way in which they can relate? When your message is fresh, they listen better and their energy for accomplishment increases.

Anyone can lead over the short-term. But successful leadership over the long-term identifies excellence and true sustain”ability.”

– Jerry Strom

Twitter: @JerryRStrom. For more information about our leadership and team development programs, please visit . Join the mailing list to receive new articles as they are published. This article is based on research conducted for the *’The Relationships Report: The Linkage between Leadership and Relationships,’ by Jerry Strom & Company, Inc. Find ‘How Leaders Build Relationships at Work’ at short insights on Twitter at #RelationshipsRPT

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