A healthy leader is a good leader


While leadership is in fact a very personal thing, if a leader takes care of themselves, he will also be able to take good care of a team and the organisation as a whole.

Three unequivocal truths drive great leadership at any level of an organisation:

  • Who you are drives what you
  • Who you are is grounded in your healthy
  • Healthy leaders build teams and organisations that outperform.

Leaders across all industries and sectors find themselves ill-equipped to manage the challenges brought about by the current worldwide economic turbulence and disruptive change. With a new world order of global interconnectedness, leaders at all levels must contend with chronic uncertainty, intense competition and personal burnout. The prevailing paradigm of focusing on short-term results has been sabotaging who leaders are as healthy human beings – until now.

Today’s rapidly changing business environment is characterised by speed, uncertainty, complexity, cynicism, competition and globalisation. This rapid change can cause a leadership gap, with leaders assuming that what worked in the past will work in the future. Leaders may also focus too much on action and too little on introspection, while accepting and tolerating dysfunctional behaviour in themselves and others. A fundamentally flawed belief – that their status and actions alone determine the quality of their leadership – can also develop.

Leaders usually react to these forces in different ways. Some leaders simply ignore them and let chaos reign, while others show foresight and adaptability. Those with healthy roots are strong and can overcome these forces by thriving.

Six roots or personal dimensions that fuel (and refuel) the world’s top leaders:

Physical health – how you live. Central to this is body/mind awareness, energy management and a peak performance lifestyle.

Helps leaders to deal with: The speed of change in the world.

Emotional health – how you feel. Self-awareness, positive emotions and resilience as themes. Helps leaders to deal with: Uncertainty in the world.

Intellectual health – this involves how you think. Deep curiosity, an adaptive mind-set and paradoxical thinking are key issues.

Helps leaders to deal with: Complexity.

Social health – how you interact with others. Central to this are feelings of authenticity, mutually rewarding relationships and communities.

Helps leaders to deal with: Cynicism.

Vocational health – how you perform. Important issues here are personal mastery, a meaningful calling and a strong drive to succeed.

Helps leaders to deal with: Competition.

Spiritual health – how you view the world. Themes here are having a higher purpose, global connectedness and generosity of spirit.

Helps leaders to deal with: Globalisation.

Schoeman says that by developing themselves and mastering these six dimensions, leaders can gain the stamina and strength not only to weather tough times but also to achieve more than ever before.

BY Dr Renata Schoeman

This article is a general information sheet and should not be used or relied upon as professional advice. No liability can be accepted for any errors or omissions nor for any loss or damage arising from reliance upon any information herein. Always contact your financial adviser for specific and detailed advice.  Errors and omissions excepted (E&OE)