Why leaders’ health is essential to a flourishing business

Too often, the pop culture image of the CEO is the stressed, unfit and overworked, working late and rarely seeing their families, never taking time for themselves, prone to heart attack and other stress-related illnesses. We see this image so often that it’s become the expectation.

I believe it’s time we flip that image.

My vision for leaders and executive management looks like this: someone who’s in control of their physical and mental health, who can take the time to go to their kids’ school play, who spends free time enjoying a great social life with friends outside of work, who has hobbies and who knows how to manage the stress of a high-pressure job without cracking under its weight.

Here’s why it’s so important:

Better health leads to greater productivity

Many studies have shown that greater health within organizations leads to better productivity overall. In the short term, it’s about less time lost to cold and flu; but in the long term it benefits a whole career to have a healthy lifestyle. Put in the investment now to improve your health and you’ll see the benefits in the decades to come. It’s never too late to start a healthier lifestyle.

Leaders who are healthy can make better decisions

People who are under unnecessary stress make poor decisions. They’re blinded by the stress hormone cortisol – studies have suggested a link between high cortisol levels and risk-taking behavior and also that cortisol impedes memory and decision-making. It’s essential therefore that leaders maintain their cool in order to make the best decisions – better physical health and regular exercise is key in reducing stress.

Good work-life balance reduces risk of leadership burnout

Everyone wants a long and fruitful career, but the unhealthy cycle of leadership that’s often modeled is one that has a high rate of burnout. Leaders who should be at the peak of their careers have career changes, relationship break-ups and personal breakdowns. A healthy approach to leadership and work-life balance allows people longevity in their careers.

Leading a healthy lifestyle is a matter of building up simple daily habits and sticking to them. Creating a strong framework through habit-building is the ideal way to protect yourself against making detrimental choices. Why? Because it means you no longer need to choose between healthy and unhealthy: you simply act. Personal hygiene is the perfect example: you don’t choose between brushing your teeth or not, you simply brush them, because it’s a deep habit. This same healthy choice can be applied to all facets of lifestyle. 

This is why I offer my Healthy Lifestyle for Business Leaders program. Offered in conjunction with renowned osteopath Matthew Wallden, it helps leaders implement simple daily habits that will transform their health and performance.

To find out more about the program and book your session, get in touch on timothy@carrollconsultancy.com