This week’s Step Up Leader Tips borrows from a Leading Blog post. Introducing a new book, Grounded, we are thrilled that it reinforces our approach to developing leaders; it begins with who we are being inside. Everything depends upon that.
Good leaders are healthy leaders.
We can’t separate our leadership from who we are inside. “Your well-being, success, and organization depend, first and foremost on who you are. You need to examine the internal stuff—what goes on in your mind and heart—before doing anything,” writes Bob Rosen in Grounded.
Faced with the speed of change today, staying aligned with who we are is very difficult making us feel stressed and defeated. We can deal with the winds of change in one of three ways: ignore the change, deal with it head on with uninformed short-term fixes, or get ahead of it. Those ignoring the situation often “adapt a rigid attitude toward personal change, avoiding introspection or soul-searching that might threaten long-held values or unexamined results.” Those who get ahead of it are not only flexible but are personally grounded.
Rosen says that great leaders are grounded in six areas:
Physical Health / How You Live: Not just the absence of disease but the presence of health. “Strong personal health begins with body-mind awareness, which gives you the personal insights and knowledge to develop a healthy lifestyle specially tailored for you.”
Emotional Health / How You Feel: Having good self-awareness. “Emotionally healthy leaders have a nimbleness, evident in their reactions, thinking and behavior.”
Intellectual Health / How You Think: Having a good curiosity so that you can break out of your mental comfort zone. “By expanding your mental range, you can broaden your thinking, solve complex problems, and focus on what is truly important.”
Social Health / How You Interact: The ability to build mutually rewarding relationships while being true to yourself – transparent and connected. “Leadership follows an inside-outside progression. Social health starts with authenticity, advances to mutually rewarding relationships, and culminates in nourishing teams and communities.”
Vocational Health / How You Perform: Meaningful work that reflects who you are. “A company led by an ill-equipped leader soon falls behind in the race for talent and productivity. Now more than ever, people are yearning for leaders to create the conditions that enable others to excel and to reach their full potential.”
Spiritual Health / How You View the World: The ability to recognize a higher purpose and something more meaningful than your personal needs. It’s connecting at the macro level. “On a personal level, individuals become alienated, rootless, and self-destructive. A business devoid of spiritual health promotes selfish, parochial, and narrow financial interests above humanity and social responsibility.”
Rosen says that these six areas are part of a system of health and if one of these subsystems is out of line, the entire system can come undone. “Poor leadership is a failure or breakdown of the whole or of part of the system.”
Rosen deals with each of these areas addressing the key issues of each, identifying where you need work, and how to develop and master each of them. The process requires self-awareness, discipline and the conscious choice to take the steps to achieve desired outcomes.”