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“I AM NOT WELL!” Help Me! I Don’t Know What’s Happening to Me! (An Article Dedicated to Male Leaders)

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“Al, I am not well!” Tim (not his real name) exclaimed as we started our Leadership Coaching conversation. There was a desperation in his voice. I immediately knew that the advice my own coach gave me years ago, to always let the client call the agenda, was going to be the reality of the day. I asked: “What’s happening?” I heard of how he is experiencing a plethora of thoughts and realities, ranging from struggling with relationships, health, emotions, finances, and perspective. I am sure he mentioned a few other challenges, yet all of it confirmed his statement: “I am not well!”

I would like to dedicate this piece to Tim, and many other male leaders and their wellness, in the spirit of International Men’s Day and our focus on Men’s Health. 

“Someone is well when he or she is in an ideal state of wellbeing.”

We all strive for healthy living, healthy relationships, healthy conversations, healthy thinking patterns, healthy emotions, healthy perspectives, healthy awareness, and healthy finances, and the list goes on and on. With the focus on wellness this month let’s also ask, “What about healthy leadership?” We all are exposed to many examples of destructive, unhealthy leadership. Yet in today’s world, if you want to be useful, understanding and applying the techniques of healthy leadership is key.
Let me state from the onsite that healthy leadership sees it as important to focus on the health and growth of all parties: the leader, the team, and the business. If the leader is well their teams thrive, so does their business and everyone it serves. In other words, a healthy leader lifts the tide for everyone and drives healthy growth for all and sundry.

“How do I go home and still be a great husband and father?”

I remember the words from my mentor, when I was personally in the throes of burnout more than 18 years ago, when he said to me – “We become unwell because of the very things we are passionate and driven about.”
So, as leaders we are pressured to drive high-level excellence and we have to constantly ask ourselves:

  • How do we create highly driven teams and organisations?
  • How do we create engaged cultures that are safe and make people want to stay?
  • How do we encourage excellent execution that drives healthy results for all stakeholders?

Then, to top it all, how do we go home and still be a great husband and father?

“We become unwell because of the very things we are passionate and driven about.”

I have been involved with leaders long enough to know that your wellness as a leader matter because everything else depends on it. To win as leader, you need to produce extraordinary results, which can only come from a deep sense of wellness. Yes, it is true that the single most crucial factor influencing the growth of your business is how well you lead and how well you are. When you give time and attention to your health as a leader, you WILL see:

  • Highly driven team members.
  • A culture that makes team members want to stay.
  • Intellectually and emotionally engaged teams.
  • Team members working in their gifted areas and thrive.
  • Excellent execution that drives healthy results.

Only this time these results come from a place of wellness instead of stress and anxiety. It becomes therefore obvious that successful leadership now requires an approach significantly different from previous lob-sided models and begin to focus on the internal qualities that form the roots of healthy leadership. The bottom line – Who you are drives what you do and that, in turn, determines your performance and that of others.

Healthy leadership awaits you on the other side of some crucial questions.

  • How do I become and continue to feel physically healthy? Can I consider a personalised energy management plan that allows me to maintain my stamina and lead a balanced life?
  • How do I feel emotionally stable? How do I make the most of encouraging, positive feelings and stop negative ones from hindering my ability to make decisions and act swiftly? How do I embrace the beauty and power of self-awareness and the ability to evolve?
  • How do I stimulate my thinking yet do not feel over-stimulated? How do I maintain a sharp intellect and a deep sense of curiosity that allows me to innovate when needed? How do I keep being a learner and explore areas of interests which will both stimulate and help me to escape for a while?
  • How do I build authentic relationships? More so, the ability to be true to myself and, in turn, nurture mutually rewarding relationships with others?
  • How do I make sure I have a meaningful calling, to determine not only what matters to me, but to help others find their own purpose?
  • How do I nurture my spiritual health and acknowledge a greater good; something bigger than myself? And how can this help me avoid the pursuit of petty goals and serve as an inspiration for others?

Lastly, always ask yourself the following questions:

  • KEEP DOING – What is it that I have to KEEP doing because it has a positive impact on my life?
  • STOP DOING – What is that I have to STOP doing because I have done it over and over again, yet it is not helping me?
  • START DOING – What must I START doing that I have not done before, yet it will make a difference?

By Alistaire Lategan

Still not sure how to go about being a healthy leader? Want someone to guide you through it? Speak to us today so we can walk you through the process. To book a session with Alistaire Lategan contact us at [email protected] to connect.