Parts one and two of this series covered what vision and traction mean in terms of leadership and business success. The best leaders work toward keeping their team focused and on track, heading toward a shared vision. Of course, doing so can be hard work for everyone. Even if the team reaches its goals, what is the cost? How many additional hours were worked, how much sleep was lost, and how many relationships were strained in the name of business development? Optimally, none. But that’s easier said than done. In this final part, let’s take a look at what it means to be a “healthy” leader, and how it can make for a healthier workplace.
What Does “Healthy” Mean?
Even if many of us struggle to achieve it, we all understand what it means to be healthy. Physically, being healthy involves regular exercise, a balanced, nutritious diet, and a strong immune system. Of course, health goes beyond the physical. We often hear about mental health, social health, and even emotional health. Like physical health, these less tangible aspects of our lives need balance, proper nutrition, and care, albeit in different forms. “Healthy,” then, refers to the optimal state one strives for in any aspect of life.
What is Healthy Leadership?
First and foremost, to be a healthy leader is to be a healthy person. In other words, leaders cannot function to their highest capacity without first achieving physical, mental, and emotional well-being outside of work. A leader who frequently falls ill, misses out on sleep, and constantly dodges work priorities to manage personal issues cannot truly be a leader. This lack of personal health bleeds into the workplace, bringing down the entire team.
Healthy leaders come to work with a clear mind, body, and spirit. They’re mentally able to help their team and handle daily challenges. They’re physically prepared to be mobile and helpful to team members with more active roles. They’re also emotionally available to hear concerns and find solutions.
In other words, being a healthy leader isn’t all about the individual, but about the entire company culture. A toxic leader spews negativity, shuts down ideas and concerns, focuses more on the sales growth formula than the people, micromanages every staff member, and forces everyone to bend to his or her will. Conversely, a healthy leader encourages new ideas, maintains an open line of communication, trusts team members to do their work, and adjusts course if necessary. This doesn’t mean the leader takes a backseat to everyone else. On the contrary, the healthy leader sets an example for his/her employees so that they too can lead healthier, balanced lives.
Healthy Leaders, Healthy Employees, Healthy Company
A company’s success depends on healthy leadership. Without it, the workplace loses its sense of balance. Employees are treated less as people and more as machines, managers lose focus, people leave the company, and investors back out. A healthy company pays attention to self-care, allows time and space for breaks, and prioritizes its people’s well-being above all. Cultivating this healthy atmosphere is an important business growth strategy that goes beyond the numbers and charts.
Leadership Resources can help you balance your work and life to become a healthier leader. With our worksheets, videos, and software, Leadership Resources gives leaders the tools they need to hone their leadership qualities in and out of work. Contact us here to learn more.