Healthy Living = Healthy Leading

I seem to circle back to a post regarding health every so often. Probably because I am not getting any younger and the topic does not just go away. Also, like most of you, I start getting healthier with the best of intentions by eating better food and exercising only to find myself right back in the same old rut.

It is hard to create good, healthy living habits. The hurdles of cost, time, and convenience are real. However, we can’t let that be an excuse. Mostly because the people around us need us and a healthier lifestyle can help make sure we are working, playing, parenting and leading at our highest capacity. Yes, I said leading. Living a healthier lifestyle increases energy and focus; two key ingredients for any person trying to lead a team or a family.

What am I doing this time around? I’m back to eating a more Paleo diet and walking every day. I’m also focusing on a sleep routine. I see vastly improved energy and rest when I’m eating healthy and sleeping well. I am less irritable, which my whole family enjoys. I am also able to focus better and be more creative, which I love!

How does this pertain to leadership?

I would point out 3 key areas.
Confidence: A leader needs to be confident in order to be effective. Feeling good about yourself from a health perspective boosts self-confidence and can have a positive effect on our performance. People are attracted to confidence as well and more likely to follow where you are leading.
Motivation: The ability to motivate a team is essential for a leader. If you are tired and irritated, you’re more likely to be unmotived and therefore unable to motivate others. Exercise in the morning is a great way to get the juices flowing for a positive attitude and energy to get people jumping!
Innovation: Being innovative requires focus and creativity. A clear mind and a rested body play a big part in our ability to focus on what’s important and brainstorm new ideas or solutions.

This article from the Center for Creative Leadership is what got me thinking about this topic today. It lays out some recommendations from health and fitness expert, Sharon McDowell-Larsen. 11 FITNESS RESOURCES: CHOOSE ONE TO FOCUS YOUR FITNESS GOALS