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Sammy Johnson

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New Year Resolutions for Healthier Leadership


In the spirit of change and personal improvement this January 2018, Mary Sisson takes a look at what New Year Resolutions leaders should be making to ensure they’re Fit to Lead through the volatility that 2018 may bring.

Mary agrees that mind and body health are linked to effective leadership.   Leadership is as much about role modelling as it is about providing guidance through instruction, and a healthy mind and body is a great role model to demonstrate. Resolutions often lack sustainability, we may all have great intentions in January, but how to sustain them  into the year ahead is the key. Like culture change, creating  and sustaining new habits requires engagement, perhaps thinking about role modelling to encourage sustainable new habits could follow principles of culture change: inform, influence then embed.

Exploring each element in turn… Being mindful encourages people to respond to their experiences rather than reacting to initial thoughts.

Some Mindful New Year resolution suggestions include:

Practice Mindfulness – allow some time to sit, free your mind of all thoughts and be still. Apps such as: Head space and Calm are great for guiding beginners through meditation and it only takes a couple of minutes a day.

Turn off our phone after a certain time. Ensuring you get at least a 12 hour break away from emails and reminders of your workload each day will ensure you are rejuvenated mentally to take on your workload. Leading by example and encouraging  a good work life balance to your team can increase team productivity and overall job satisfaction.

Promoting regular exercising can have a dramatic influence on employees’ mood, confidence and self-esteem. Informing and influencing your teams to embed exercise into their regular routine by being an example can have great results. Simple steps, such as being seen to take a walk at lunchtime and sharing your own approach to weekend relaxation can inspire others to do the same. Allowing protected time for exercise for the team during the working week is a good idea, providing time as well as resources can enable healthy habits to form and be sustained.

Buddy concept: Share your journey with others. Inviting  a colleague or friend to share your exercise routine or encouraging a work-based healthy eating programme has shown to double your chances of success.

Get digital. Using fitness tracker bands or downloading an app to monitor what you eat and what you burn during exercise yields greater results. Many of these apps also have social platforms which means you can embrace a healthy competition with friends, family and colleagues to motivate you on your journey and in turn inspire your teams.

Employee health and wellbeing is a topic that is critical to business performance right now. Organisations who invest time and resources into their wellness programmes now will be better positioned for future success. Productivity gains are possible through improved mind and body wellbeing. Leaders are measured by the performance of their people, if you can enhance the performance of your people through mind and body wellbeing, your own results will be seen to improve as a consequence.

Great leaders lead by example, have great communication skills and empower others. Setting a New Year’s resolution to listen better or motivate others in small steps each day could go a long way over the course of a year.

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