In my last blog, I ran you through what was the first pillar in a series. The series is about being a holistic leader, which is the way to achieve effortless leadership. The first pillar discussed Personal Integrity. Please visit my previous blog for more details on the topic.
This month, I’d like to talk to you about our second pillar, leading a healthy lifestyle. This goes hand in hand with having personal integrity. It also goes hand-in-hand with delivering consistent communication, whether that’s through words or actions.
Now, this is a very sensitive area, because for me to say that you have to lead a healthy lifestyle to have effortless leadership is controversial. And that’s fair enough. This pillar is very much a personal choice. When I suggest, “you have to lead a healthy lifestyle to have effortless leadership…. to become a holistic leader”, there are some of you who won’t agree. That’s OK if you can make it work for you. However, if you achieve all pillars and not this one, but you believe you have effortless leadership, then I believe you could do EVEN better. LIVE A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE.
What does that mean? Part of a healthy lifestyle includes;
- Eating a balanced diet
- Having a regular and sufficient sleep schedule
- Not indulging in any drugs
- Keeping alcohol consumption down to a very social minimum
- Not smoking
- Not having ANY habit which is unfavourable or undesirable
- Choosing better people to associate with
- Reading and listening to “healthy” content
- Becoming ecologically thoughtful in your life choices
Certainly, there’s more, but this is not a wellness blog and I am not a wellness trainer. However, I am sure you understand the relevance of this pillar. And to dig a little deeper, let’s flip this around. Let’s ask why would I want to do this? Why would I want to stop doing the things I enjoy which are unhealthy?
Well, deep down you already know the answer. It’s in your gut! Science tells us that your gut is home to trillions of bacterial cells that act as a second intelligence system (I will discuss our 3 brains in a future blog). The gut, therefore, transmits signals to your brain. In addition, most of the receptor sites for the chemical serotonin, which makes you feel happy, motivated and confident, are in your gut. As a result, science tells us that if you keep your gut healthy by eating better foods, these receptors will be healthier and the signal processing from your gut to your brain will be clearer. This makes you happier, clearer and provides a better mental health foundation.
These facts and other research tells us that when you’re healthy you get;
- More energy
- Better emotional balance
- Better time management
- More playfulness
- More creativity
- Higher alertness
- More awareness
- Sharper focus
- Better resilience
- Better image
- Increased positive internal dialogue
- Increased positive outlook
- A stronger desire to have a meaningful connection with others
- More time on this planet potentially!
And just by saying NO to temptations or bad habits, and by training and meditating weekly, you begin to imprint your mind with positive habits. Stronger discipline, stronger dedication, stronger resilience. These are all skills and habits which you can transfer directly into your leadership responsibilities at work. And these qualities will be noticed and respected by those around you. They will feel that energy from you, which will, in turn, inspire and motivate them. Your consistency will give your team certainty. That in itself is a part of effortless leadership.
Leading a healthy lifestyle also removes that feeling of guilt that you get sometimes, one that you can’t find the reason for! Bad food, bad habits, poor choice of friendships, they are the source of guilt, they feed anxiety and create stress. So why wouldn’t you want to live healthily and get rid of anxiety?
Great leaders understand that personal integrity includes being consistent. And having a healthy lifestyle brings forward attributes and traits which are congruent with leadership. Energy, clarity, confidence and creativity will flow more freely when you are healthy and guilt-free. Your team members, work colleagues and your boss will respond better when you are congruent.
Through Leader House, we coach you to achieve a mindset for success, which makes choosing and sticking to a healthy lifestyle very easy. So please get in touch and I will discuss these techniques with you during a complimentary discovery session.