Leadership Vitality: A Key Attribute Often Overlooked
Many leaders will say to me that they want to create a high performance top team to lead the organisation in the next stage of their growth strategy. I look around and all I can usually see is exhausted executives! Tired, stressed, unfit, grumpy and not very healthy - no signs of vitality at all! How many of us spend time thinking about the health and fitness of our team? You would if you were leading or coaching a sports team wouldn't you, so why don't we in business? Have you ever set fitness and health targets as part of your performance management system? Hopefully yes!
Vitality in today's ever changing, volatile, uncertain and challenging world has become a key skill for leaders to develop in their teams. I have a firm belief that all performance in any organisation comes from how people feel. Feel better = brains switched on = better results - simple really.
So how do we create a high performance culture, where people feel great, and their brains are switched on? Oh I should have said, we all know that when people are stressed, unhappy, shocked, or tired that the thinking part of their brain shuts down, and emotion switches on. If we think we get eaten by the tiger - remember?
There is plenty of research, training programmes, and coaches who specifically focus on vitality. My understanding is that it comes down to 7 key elements. These are shown in no particular order - balance across all 7 is key!
Purpose - knowing what your purpose is and living it gives you energy.
Sleep - you can't operate flat out all the time you need to manage your energy and recover. Learn to live in harmony with your natural sleep/wake cycles, when to use active and passive rest, and how meditation, chi-gong and energy cultivating exercises can enhance your health.
Hydration - Learn the importance of water quality, optimal amount, and how water is a powerful healing tool.
Self talk - I believe that if you can change your thoughts, you can change your life. We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. It is very important that we learn to love ourselves. We can only love another, in the capacity in which we love ourselves. Our ultimate goal is unconditional love.
Movement - Learn how working out (expending energy) and working in (cultivating energy) can balance all systems of the body.
Breathing - Experience how proper breathing techniques create an abundance of energy, balance the autonomic nervous system, and enhance life.
Nutrition - Learn how to make conscious choices about where your food comes from, how it was raised or grown, how to eat for your metabolic type, and how to prepare your food to enhance your own vitality. Digestion and absorption are major factors in optimal health. It is important that these functions be supported.
So on reflection how are you doing on making sure these 7 vitality elements become part of you routine.
Just realised that whilst writing this I've just eaten a bag of Maoam Stripes, I need to work on my nutrition!!! But they were fantastic!!!!