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Resource, Refresh, Repeat: You Can’t Lead on Empty

Updated: Jan 26, 2023

Are you a diverse leader with a lot to contribute but lately you’ve been running on almost empty? Maybe it’s time for you take a few moments to focus on you. Self-development matters. Trust me, the world will not stop just because you have chosen to pause and refresh yourself. The world will go on with or without you, and I’m pretty sure you would rather it go on WITH you. Whether you are a Black executive in the corporate workplace, a minority leader in the nonprofit nebulous, or an underrepresented entrepreneur in your own corner of the world, you cannot lead on empty. It’s time to pause and develop the leader in YOU.

Today, I’m here to remind YOU, yes you—the amazing superwoman or superman, that strong, Black leader who is always pulled on left and right to speak for this cause, to step up to this role, to refer another colleague to this board, to take care of your family, friends, distant relatives and adopted mentees—to: RESOURCE, REFRESH AND REPEAT. It’s really just that simple. Pause.

Take time RIGHT NOW to Resource Yourself. Read (or listen to) a chapter of a book, listen to a quick executive leadership podcast, read an entrepreneur article online, listen to a quick news flash on your Echo show, actually attend one of those 30-minute self-development or leadership webinars you keep registering for J. You can do this while at your desk, during a quick solo coffee run, as you grab a bite to eat, or on your commute to and/or from your place of work. Use your time wisely. Stop giving advice to everyone else for one minute and listen to some advice for you.

Then, Refresh Yourself. Create a new habit. Give yourself 30 minutes at the beginning or at the end of EACH day to clear your mind. Try this for 21 days. If you choose the beginning of the day, set an intention for the day, meditate, sit in silence, go for a walkand enjoy creation, light a candle and just be. If you choose the end of the day, lead yourself in a yoga class on YouTube, schedule a 15-30 minute phone conversation with a mentor, role model or coach, clear your mind and leave the worries of the day behind with a quick sleep meditation before you slumber.

Lastly, Repeat this often. Dig deep, or keep it surface level—your choice. Find some time for you. Self-development is not a one-time occurrence; it’s perpetual. And guess what the number one priority of any successful executive, entrepreneur or aspiring leader should be? You guessed it – your continual development. If you don’t resource yourself, how in the world are you going to be able to pour into others? You won’t; you will ultimately fizzle out and eventually contribute little to nothing. So, starting today, prioritize you and your development. Self-development—resourcing YOU matters, so choose to do it today, tomorrow and the next day. MAKE TIME for what matters, for WHO matters. Don’t lead on empty. Resource. Refresh. Repeat.

Want to know more about the author? Nicole can be reached at Follow her on Instagram @nicoleeemerging @youcanemergenow and check more out about Emerge Enterprises, LLC at

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